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Low carbon construction systems using prefabricated engineered solid wood panels for urban infill to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Published Date February 2013, Vol.6:57–67, doi:10.1016/j.scs.2012.08.004 Author
sd+b Research Centre, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide SA5001, Australia
Available online 1 September 2012. Abstract Low-carbon prefabricated modular construction systems, using prefabricated engineered solid wood panel construction systems, such as load-bearing cross-laminated timber panels, and ‘design for disassembly’ principles will offer significant opportunities for greenhouse gas emission reduction and waste avoidance, among other benefits. However, introducing such innovative and sustainable construction systems to the Australian construction industries and housing markets has its challenges. This paper explores the opportunities offered by an innovative low carbon construction system using cross-laminated timber (CLT, also known as cross-lam) panels to improve the design and delivery of urban infill housing of the Australian construction market. CLT construction has been developed around 1996 in Europe, mainly in Austria and Germany: thick layers of timber boards are glued crosswise in different directions to increase loadbearing capacity. This article describes a multi-disciplinary research project into engineered timber panels which aims to transform the Australian construction and development industry, involving a range of key partners. This project aims to introduce CLT panels as a way to build with a lightweight prefabricated low-carbon construction system that is advantageous for urban infill and residential buildings in the range of 4–10 stories height. The challenges, research questions and advantages of this new engineered timber system are explained, and a research methodology for further research is presented. Highlights ► Low-carbon prefabricated modular construction systems are introduced. ► Engineered cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels for inner-city 4–7 storey housing. ► Carbon reduction and waste avoidance are goals of such innovative systems. ► More mid-rise urban infill housing will densify the city centre. Keywords