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Sustainnovation - Cross laminated timber

Sustainnovation By Sophie Simpson, Associate Engineer, Sustainability – 20 July 2022

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Sophie Simpson

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This blog is part of our Sustainnovation series.

Sustainnovation is an exhibition (both physical and digital) of some of the most sustainable and innovative products coming onto the market at the moment. Our engineers and designers have carefully selected products that they feel will help us, and the planet, achieve our sustainable goals.

Cross laminated timber

New ways of working with structural timber are being used to combat traditional limitations of wood as a building material. One of the most innovative techniques is Cross laminated timber (CLT). CLT involves gluing timber boards in layers with each layer rotating at a 90 degree angle to the one below. This creates a material that can outmatch concrete or steel in both structural performance and embodied carbon levels. FLA’s project of Simon Court shows the growing potential for this technique.

FLA’s development of Simon Court is a traditional Scottish tenement designed and built in a contemporary way. Built using healthy, vapour-open, carbon locking solid structural timber, this is the first commercial developer-led heavy timber residential development in Scotland allowing the exposure of timber internally while exceeding acoustic requirements. Solid timber is the structural material of the future. Timber typically used in the built environment is designed to be thin, but comes at a significant carbon cost. Solid, heavy timber does not carry the same carbon footprint and in addition when exposed internally has been shown to produce calm environments, with occupants’ hearts beating slower, and reducing stress.

Designers: Fraser/Livingstone Architects - Edinburgh, UK

Fraser/Livingstone Architects is a new practice, founded in Edinburgh in 2019.

They are generalists, grown from the roots of Malcolm Fraser Architects, working across a variety of sectors on projects throughout Scotland and beyond, putting people and their lived experience at the centre of their thinking and building.

Simple, humane principles help guide them through the complexities of site and style, always respecting the integrity of the built and natural environment they build within.

For more information on the material use, please see FLA's work on their Simon Court project.

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