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Shortlisted projects highlight diversity of timber in construction

Jul 11 2018

WAF finalists 1What do two universities, two hotels, an office block, a recital hall, a chapel, a school and a standing camp all have in common? These are the nine fantastic projects shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival’s Best Use of Certified Timber Prize.

Supported by PEFC, this prize rewards project teams and architects that have used certified timber in an innovative, educational or artistic manner, whilst demonstrating responsible sourcing in a completed building.

We will be highlighting the nine projects over the next few weeks, but you can already see a quick overview of them here.

Certified timber: versatile and unique

WAF finalists 2In total, 40 architects from over 20 countries entered their projects into the prize.

Moreover, while certified timber was always the main construction material, the type of building varied widely: from higher education and research, to hotel and leisure, and community and religious buildings, to name a few.

“It is fantastic to see the variety of construction projects entered into the prize,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, as the seven shortlisted projects were announced.

“It goes to show how versatile timber is as a construction material, from small homes to high-rise office buildings, and everything in between. With a growing urban population, this has never been so important.”

With the developments in engineered wood, such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glue-laminated timber (glulam), it is now possible to build even higher with timber. This, along with the ease and speed of construction, means certified timber is the perfect and sustainable choice for construction sector.

“Just look at the variety of style and design of the projects: while they are all made from timber, each one looks unique. I do not envy the task of the jury to pick the winner!”

The seven teams will present their projects to a jury at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Amsterdam, on 30 November 2018. The jury will then present the winner with the prize at a Gala Dinner later that day.

Sustainability at heart

All the projects submitted to the prize had to prove they used certified timber as the principle material in their construction.

PEFC-certified timber, whether it is solid wood or engineered wood, comes from a PEFC-certified forest – a forest managed sustainably in line with strict international requirements.

This means that forest owners manage their forest in a way that provides us with timber and other forest products, while at the same timing ensuring that the forest will be around for generations to come.

Designing the future with sustainable timber

Across the world, the architecture community is embracing solid and engineered wood to deliver high profile, award winning projects and everyday designs - from houses, schools and hotels to restaurants, theatres, supermarkets and swimming pools.

Under the theme Designing the Future with Sustainable Timber, a range of stakeholders have come together under the leadership of PEFC to promote the use of wood in construction in general and certified wood in particular. Join us! Contact us at fabienne.sinclair@pefc.org.

Photo credits: Tszwai So, Spheron Architects, Tzannes, NTNU Gjovik University, AOUMM S.r.l S.t.p., Architectus, Taylor and Hinds Architects and Ian Ritchie Architects Ltd.

PEFC Certified

Forests area: 307 million ha
Forest owners: > 750,000
Companies (CoC): > 20,000

(as of September 2018)
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