Timber to tackle climate change

by | Jun 14, 2022

Andrew Waugh - Timber to tackle climate change

Andrew Waugh

Expert in the use of engineered timber and offsite construction Andrew Waugh is scheduled to speak at the upcoming Timber Offsite Construction Conference and Exhibition in Melbourne next week, where he will explain why he believes that only timber can tackle climate change.

Andrew is a founding director of Waugh Thistleton Architects and one of the leading advocates of the use of engineered timber and offsite manufacturing and construction. In his upcoming address, he will discuss how the construction industry can be part of the solution to a zero-carbon future, not the problem.

“Working with timber has obvious environmental benefits: it is replenishable, it is made of carbon and has a very low embodied energy. Trees soak up carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and release oxygen,” Andrew says.

While most of us are well aware that timber is a far more sustainable building material than concrete or steel, Andrew believes says it is the advances in the technology of engineered timber and the development of effective off-site construction techniques that make timber a viable alternative in many applications.

“Building homes offsite speeds up delivery and reduces the impact of construction on the local area. Homes constructed out of engineered timber, using cutting-edge technology, are of a higher quality than those built using standard construction techniques.”

“Prefabrication turns each construction site from a uniquely made commodity to a practised process. Each building will be made from a series of customized components, giving us the buildings we deserve rather than the ones we put up with,” he said.

As a pioneer in this new building process, Andrew claims that a hundred years of concrete has made his profession lazy. He believes the architect is no longer the master builder and for many years, architects have focused only on design and have not been involved in construction, ignoring the issue of climate change. Andrew now wants architects to reimagine building construction and to experiment with materials as much as they experiment with design.

Andrew says is excited about the prospect of timber products and offsite construction revolutionizing the building industry.

“We will be building completely in timber by the end of the century. From an architectural standpoint, the really exciting thing is to see what kind of architecture this new material brings,” he said.

The Timber Offsite Construction 2022 will be hosted at Crown Promenade, Melbourne, for both in-person visitors and virtual participation.