Timber as a construction material predates modern civilization. It has many inherent sustainable qualities – it’s a natural and regenerative material that captures and stores carbon during growth. It also offers haptic and visual qualities like few other materials can. But as architects and practitioners, do we truly understand the production of the raw timber we specify?
Whilst there is growing emphasis on mass timber to reduce embodied carbon in the push for Net Zero buildings, as with all materials, there is still considerable environmental and human impact related to its raw production as shown in UKGBC’s platform. In collaboration with the Sustainability Research Institute at University of East London over the last year Haptic has been exploring the current academic research on timber’s wider environmental performance, questioning the potential carbon gaps and ecological impacts in the Cradle-to-Gate stages (A1-A3) with the aim of understanding how we as architects can further improve the way we design with timber for even more sustainable outcomes.
The research paper was published and presented in the International ICARB 2023 Conference: Carbon Accounting for Buildings and Communities in September 2023.
You can download the document here: SRI_Haptic_ICARB_Paper.