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Solid timber in carbon neutral construction in the UK

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Although solid timber building materials/components (e.g. glulam beams, cross-laminated timber) are mainly imported in the United Kingdom, their use in construction has expanded dramatically over recent years in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and to aspire towards carbon neutral construction. This paper features a case study of the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Sustainable Chemistry Building, for the University of Nottingham which was designed to attain a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) rating of ‘Outstanding’ and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) ‘Platinum’ rating. The low embodied carbon/energy of the glulam beams and columns, the cross-laminated timber walls, and wood fibre thermal insulation was seen as a major contributor to the building’s aspiration to achieve carbon neutral status after 25 years. It is concluded that solid timber construction has an important role to play in future low-zero carbon construction in the UK, but that issues such as fire protection during construction may need further consideration.
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Keywords: Solid timber; carbon neutral construction; cross laminated timber; fire protection; glulam timber; off-site prefabrication

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Nottingham, UK Department of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of Engineering, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, United Kingdom, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: August 20, 2015

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  • The Proceedings of IASS Annual Symposia include the articles presented at each symposium. They are grouped by thematic sessions. These limited-length conference papers are reviewed and selected by the Scientific or Technical Committee of each symposium, and generally only those actually presented orally at the conference are included. Although the metadata for the papers is available to the public, only members of the IASS can view the full papers, for which the author(s) hold the copyright. Further information about the projects or research should be sought from the author(s).
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