Forte reaches new heights

Date: 03-Sep-12
Author: Chris Philpot

Forte 4

What has 34,000 screws, 5,500 angle brackets, 759 cross laminate timber (CLT) panels, 485 tonnes of timber and will reduce carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by more than 1,400 tonnes when compared to concrete and steel? Australia's first 10-storey CLT building - Forte. It will also be the tallest wood building in the world. The entire wood structure of Forte is now complete.

One of the many benefits of using CLT is the speed of construction. The nine-storey Murray Grove building in northeast London is built from CLT and was constructed over a nine-week period by four men, each working three days per week. It was occupied ahead of schedule in January 2009.

More than 12,000 homes were approved for construction by the Australian government in May this year. This presents us with an important question; what should we use to build these new homes? Steel and concrete are carbon-intensive materials that need large inputs of from fossil fuels to produce. Responsibly sourced wood is renewable and is the better option in the long term. If the wood used for building is sourced from recycled materials and well-managed plantations or forests, buildings have the potential to store vast amounts of carbon, in turn helping to tackle climate change.

We can kind of guess the answer but we want to hear what your favourite building material is? Why not let us know by voting in our Facebook poll