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The tallest wooden high-rise built in London

The Stadthaus in London’s Murray Grove is the world’s tallest high-rise building made from wood. Using timber in the building reduced its carbon load by 310 tonnes compared to an equivalent building made from concrete reinforced with steel.

As far as is known, the Stadthaus in London’s Murray Grove is the world’s tallest residential building made from wood. Designed by Waugh Thistleton Architects, its load-bearing walls are made from cross-laminated solid timber panels. The stair and lift cores as well as the floor slabs are also made from wood.

Waugh Thistleton Architects say that they strive to design buildings which reduce the human impact on the planet. “Therefore we see it as vital not only to consider the energy use over the life cycle of the building but also the energy expended in producing the building,” says Ms. Kirsten Haggart, project architect for Stadthaus.

“Timber sequesters 0.8 tonnes of carbon per one cubic metre and is a renewable material. In comparison, the production of both concrete and steel are one-way, energy-intensive processes that release large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere,” explains Haggart the reasons behind their interest in wood.

Waugh Thistleton has estimated that if the building were a concrete structure, it would contain approximately 950 cubic metres of concrete. This would require 285 tonnes of cement, the production of which would release 67,500 kilos of carbon. Reinforcing the concrete with steel would require about 120 tonnes of steel, the production of which would release 57,250 kilos of carbon.

910 cubic metres of timber were used in the building. As carbon is absorbed by trees and stored in timber, the fabric of Stadthaus stores over 186,000 kilos of carbon.

All in all, the construction method used has thus reduced the building’s carbon load by 310,750 kilos.

The estimated volume of carbon dioxide produced in generating the energy for the building, including the transportation of the timber panels from Austria, is 10,000 kilos per year. This has been entirely offset for the next 21 years by the building’s carbon savings, Haggart says.

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