Friday, August 22, 2014

Rediscovering Timber Construction, and a Rambling Lemming

"Rethinking construction: introducing timber into our commercial buildings [video]"
Geraldine Chua, Architecture & Design (August 21, 2014)

"Following on from our series of articles looking at the possibilities and benefits of building with timber, we spoke to Rod Pindar, a principal at Fitzpatrick + Partners (F+P), about some of the work the practice is doing, with a focus on their Macquarie Park project.

" In this interview, Pindar shares why Australia's building and design industry will move towards mass timber construction (MTC) in coming years even though it has a long way to go.

" 'We think it's important that the knowledge of timber is out there and freely available,' he says.

" 'We'd like to see buildings get built in timber, we'd like to see multi-storey commercial buildings built in particular. We know CLT has been proven in the residential market and that will continue to grow, but the commercial market really is the tough nut to crack.'..."

"CLT?" That could mean Charlotte Douglas International Airport; Chile Standard Time; or the Oprah Winfrey Network, a Canadian TV channel that's now called Canadian Learning Television.

None of those make sense in this context, so the Lemming figures that Geraldine Chua means cross laminated timber, or glulam. It's plywood, only different: apparently.

Most readers of Architecture & Design might see "CLT" and immediately think Cross Laminated Timber. Then again, they might not. Surely the Lemming isn't the only reader whose interests span more than one specialty.

Acronyms, Pronoun Trouble, and a Latvian Bridge

Acronyms are useful when all readers realize what, say, ACK, BLS, CALABARZON, DTs, or ead. mean — and gibberish when they don't.

It's the acronyms that are gibberish for autochthons marginalized from the requisite cognoscente. And that's another topic. Topics.

The Lemming applauds Pindar on realizing that timber, in fact, actually does grow on trees: and was used by humans in the construction of large structures long before other traditional products like steel, fiberglass, or prestressed concrete.

There's a reason why timber isn't used in skyscrapers or long suspension bridges. Short ones — that's yet another topic.

(From Igors Jefimovs, via Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.)
(A suspension bridge in Ozolnieki, Latvia: photo by Igors Jefimovs.)

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