Wood is the key to a more sustainable building industry, says architect John Klein, who has led Massachusetts Institute of Technology students in designing a large community centre from mass timber. The Longhouse is a 40-foot-high structure to be made from laminated veneer lumber (LVL), one of a new class of engineered wood products that are able to withstand high levels of stress. The material would allow the Longhouse to contain a large enclosed space – 140 feet (43 metres) long and 50 feet (15 metres) wide – that is uninterrupted by any internal structural supports. Mass timber offers eco-friendly construction option Klein, a research scientist in MIT ‘s architecture department, said that mass timber like LVT offered a sustainable alternative to concrete and steel, and had become economically viable as well. "At heights above six stories, mass-timber technologies have begun to compete economically with concrete and steel building solutions," Klein told Dezeen. "Mass-timber buildings offer a promising solution for housing and carbon reduction goals, in addition to providing a sustainable solution for cities to address urban sprawl." In contrast to emissions-intensive concrete, mass-timber production is low-impact and non-toxic. It also has the additional benefit of storing carbon from […]

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