This week, Team LMC visited the London Design Festival and headed straight to one of the most talked about installations: MultiPly.
Designed by Waugh Thistleton Architects, supported by the American Hardwood Export Council and engineered by ARUP, MultiPly is a cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure located in the Sackler Courtyard at the V&A Museum in South Kensington.
The installation aims to spark conversation about two global challenges – housing and climate change – through its choice of resources and construction methods.
The lower half of the structure is sprinkled with thought-provoking stats and graphics, which highlight the benefits of modular timber construction.
Modular construction allows homes to be built quickly as most of the construction processes take place offsite. This improves efficiency without compromising the quality of homes, and it minimises the disruption often associated with onsite construction.
It also offers a way to build more sustainably, using renewable and energy efficient materials. What’s more, it acts as a carbon store during the lifetime of the building. (MultiPly alone stores of 300 tonnes of CO2.)
By storing this volume of CO2, MultiPly is carbon neutral. The carbon emissions from hardwood extraction, processing, fabrication, installation and transport are offset by the carbon stored within the installation and the energy generated by the incineration of wood waste accrued from the making of the structure.
One of the most fascinating things about the installation for a timber fan like me is the use of tulipwood, a hardwood that grows throughout the US. According to the information presented at the installation, tulipwood forests are expanding by an area the size of a football pitch every minute and currently cover land equivalent to France and Spain combined. MultiPly’s tulipwood CLT panels were made in Scotland and are the first panels to be manufactured in the UK.
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