Research suggests a wooden future for skyscrapers


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Skyscrapers dominate the skylines of our major cities, offering more urban density and greater flexibility than smaller buildings. However, concrete- and steel-based tall structures require huge amounts of energy for their construction, which comes at a significant environmental cost. This can be mitigated by incorporating technologies such as solar power, passive cooling systems and efficient lighting into the design, but what if we could go even further and build skyscrapers using sustainable materials? Herein lies the impetus behind recent research into the efficacy of wooden skyscrapers.

Before considering the technical hurdles of constructing tall buildings from wood, perhaps the first question which should be asked is: what are the specific benefits wood can offer over concrete and steel?

Sustainability

The single most compelling argument in favor of building wooden skyscrapers is the fact that, providing the timber is sourced responsibly, they represent an opportunity to create a sustainable building on a truly grand scale, cutting down on overall CO2 output as a result.

As a recent lengthy report on the subject by Michael Green Architects (MGA) entitled “Tall Wood” [PDF] asserts:

“Over the last twenty years, as the world’s understanding of anthropogenic climate change has evolved, we have seen the large impact that buildings contribute to the greenhouse gases causing climate change. Concrete production represents roughly 5 percent of world carbon dioxide emissions, the dominant greenhouse gas. In essence the production and transportation of concrete represents more than 5 times the carbon footprint of the airline industry as a whole. It is clear that the very fundamentals of what materials we build our buildings with are worth re-evaluating.”

The “Timber Towers” [PDF] report produced by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) cites the potential to compete with reinforced concrete and steel, while reducing the carbon footprint by 60 to 75 percent.

Structural Strength

To cope with the heavy load, stresses, and vibrations a skyscraper undergoes daily, it needs to be built from material far more durable than normal timber. The SOM and MGA reports both agree that the solution to constructing tall buildings from wood rests on the use of “Mass Timber.”

SOM’s report defines Mass Timber as solid panels of wood, engineered for greater strength through the lamination of different layers.

SOM’s researchers prefer to add concrete connecting joints when building with Mass Timber, while MGA utilizes steel to reinforce the mass timber panels. Whichever reinforcing method is chosen, the result is a very tough building material which is worlds away from the timber framing used to build many homes, and suitable for tall buildings up to 30 stories in height, even in high seismic areas like Vancouver.

(Read More)

(Excerpt of article by Adam Williams. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Lamboo, Laminated Veneer Bamboo (LVB), is unmatched in its potential as an environmentally friendly and structurally stable building material. Bamboo can be produced on a large scale with much more ease than timber forests cutting costs and limiting energy consumption. Testing and predictions from experts has led to Bamboo being referred to as “the next super material” due to its amazing attributes and resiliency.

In its engineered form (Lamboo) bamboo is the ideal bio-based product for applications requiring superior structural strength and longevity. In fact, Lamboo components are on average 20% more stable than hardwoods and up to 40% more stable than softwoods such as Pine or Douglas Fir.

Lamboo’s popularity as a sustainable, higher performing product is growing; we encourage you to learn more from the links below and to contact us with any questions that should arise.

About Bamboo as a resource

– Produces 30% more oxygen in comparison to similar size timber forest area

– Sequesters 35% more carbon in comparison to similar size timber forest area

– Growth rate of 6-8 years to maturity (In comparison to 25-50 for traditional timber)

– Root structure eliminates need to replant

Learn more about Lamboo

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Certifications

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“Green” Building Construction Rises in U.S.


Taking the “LEED” in Green Buildings

In 2000, the Albanese Organization was chosen to develop the first “green” high-rise residential tower in the United States. Called The Solaire, it was the first high-rise residential project to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.  LEED certifications is a widely recognized third-party verification that a building is environmentally friendly.  Subsequently, Albanese developed three more LEED Certified buildings in Manhattan, The Visionaire, The Verdesian, and The Vanguard Chelsea.

Now comes The Living Building Challenge (LBC). The Living Building Challenge is a green building certification program that defines the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today.  Projects that achieve this level of performance can claim to be the ‘greenest’ anywhere. The LBC requirements go beyond those of a LEED certification. The LBC uses a vetting process to avoid some of the pitfalls suffered by various LEED certified buildings, where “efficient” structures have proven to be less than advertised after completion and energy audits.

One building that is attempting to qualify for the LBC is the newly constructed Bullit Center in Seattle, WA.  Qualifying is no small feat: The Living Building Challenge has 143 registered projects in 10 countries, but only three buildings in the United States have been fully certified so far; the largest of those is an eighth the size of the Bullitt Center.

The Living Building Challenge requires a project to meet 20 specific imperatives within seven performance areas (or “Petals”). For the Bullitt Center, meeting the imperatives will include the following:

The location will support a pedestrian-, bicycle-, and transit-friendly lifestyle. Rainwater will be collected on the roof, stored in an underground cistern and used throughout the building. A solar array will generate as much electricity as the building uses. The building will not contain any “Red List” hazardous materials, including PVC, cadmium, lead, mercury and hormone-mimicking substances, all commonly found in building components. The lifespan of The Bullit Center is projected to be 250 years. The building officially opens on April 22; Earth Day.

Dennis Hays, the president of The Bullitt Foundation, said “The Bullitt Center will be the first office building in the United States to capture rain water, store it and purify it, and then use it for potable drinking water. We will use rain water in our coffee, our dishwaters, our showers, and for everything else. We will filter the resulting gray water and infiltrate it into rain gardens full of vegetation in front of our building. We will make no use of Seattle public water supply.” To help protect Puget Sound, rainwater will be retained on site and “grey water” from sinks in the building will be filtered through a green roof.”

Bullit Center in Seattle, WA

Other Green initiatives

The University of North Texas built a state-of-the-art Zero Energy Research Laboratory, where students and faculty will get first-hand experience with sustainable energy technologies. The facility is designed to test emerging technologies that allow building systems to have a net-zero consumption of energy. The UNT ‘Zero House’ uses Benchmark wall panels because they cut the electric load by one half to two thirds. Initially, the facility was powered by solar energy.

“Two faculty members, 6 graduate students and one post-doctoral research associate are working in ZØE research group at UNT,” explained Rambod Rayegan, a Visiting Assistant Professor  in the mechanical and energy engineering department. “The research group is currently focused on integrated simulation and verification of the building and its sub systems, air flow and heat transfer analysis of solar chimney, human behavior factors sensitivity and uncertainty in energy modeling of the building, multiyear modeling of the ground loop heat exchanger, and design a novel thermal energy storage system to achieve the maximum utilization of solar power.”

Dr. Yong Tao, chair of the Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering and PACCAR Professor of Engineering at UNT, and a committee of experts oversaw the design of the lab. Tao is an internationally known researcher in fundamentals of thermal sciences, refrigeration system performance and renewable energy applications in buildings. He joined the UNT faculty in the fall of 2010. Tao also served as the director of the Future House USA project, an initiative that brought together academics, builders, industry sponsors and lobbyists to create a 3,200 square-foot zero-net energy house that was built in Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games.

(Read More)

(Excerpt of article from Azobuild. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)
Lamboo, Laminated Veneer Bamboo (LVB), designed from one the most rapidly renewable plant species on the planet, bamboo, has the potential to be integrated in this new wave of “Green” buildings. Lamboo can be used to replace less sustainable materials in nearly any conceivable application from curtain wall systems to office furniture. Additionally use of Lamboo materials can receive accreditation from building codes such as LEED from the USBC on qualifying projects.

LEED Credits available through Lamboo integration

  • MR Credit 6 – Rapidly renewable materials
  • IEQ Credit 4.4 – Low-emitting materials
  • ID Credit 1 – Innovation in Design

    (Environmentally Preferable Material)

  • ID Credit 2 – Innovation in Design

    (Life Cycle Assessment / Environmental Impact)

  • FSC Certification – Available Upon Request

 

Learn more about Lamboo

What is Lamboo?

Certifications

Product Information

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For questions regarding Lamboo or our products please visit our website
at www.lamboo.us or contact us at info@lamboo.us 866-966-2999

“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated

Blog by: Dustin Dennison

Rebound in U.S. Green Building Materials Market


U.S. demand to post double-digit gains through 2017

Through 2017, a rebound in construction activity, combined with continuing consumer interest in environmentally friendly products, will propel US growth in green building materials demand 11 percent annually to $86.6 billion. US construction activity declined sharply during much of the 2007-2012 period, but demand for green building materials held its own, boosted by consumer interest in products that could reduce utility bills or promote environmentally friendly construction practices. For instance, homeowners installed ENERGY STAR-certified windows and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to lower energy costs and reduce energy consumption.

Builders, architects coming to grips with LEED system

For purposes of this study, green building materials are defined as those products that can be used to earn credits toward certification in any of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating systems extant as of February 2013. These materials do not necessarily have to be installed in buildings where LEED accreditation is being sought to be considered green materials. Over the forecast period, builders and architects will increasingly opt to earn high levels of LEED certification by specifying the use of materials that earn LEED points. Lumber harvested in a sustainable manner can contribute to LEED certification, and is forecasted to exhibit demand gains.

Details on these and other findings are contained in Green Building Materials, an upcoming Freedonia industry study available for $5100. It presents historical demand data for 2002, 2007 and 2012, as well as forecasts for 2017 and 2022 by product, market, and region of the US.

(Read More)

(Excerpt of article from Herald Online. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)
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Lamboo, Laminated Veneer Bamboo (LVB), is an ultra renewable alternative to traditional building materials. Produced from one of the most rapidly replenishing and environmentally friendly plants in the world, bamboo, Lamboo can be used as a replacement for depleting building resources. To learn more about the superior attributes of Lamboo, please visit our Product Information Page for additional information.

LEED Credits available through Lamboo integration

Incorporating Lamboo (LVB) Laminated Veneer Bamboo into projects can earn LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification under the following:

  • MR Credit 6 – Rapidly renewable materials
  • IEQ Credit 4.4 – Low-emitting materials
  • ID Credit 1 – Innovation in Design

    (Environmentally Preferable Material)

  • ID Credit 2 – Innovation in Design

    (Life Cycle Assessment / Environmental Impact)

  • FSC Certification – Available Upon Request

Learn more about our certifications here.

For questions regarding Lamboo or our products please visit our website
at www.lamboo.us or contact us at info@lamboo.us 866-966-2999

“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated

Blog by: Dustin Dennison