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Building Technologist Innovations periodical forA(BouT) the Building

77. Wood!


Cover page description Galaxia is shaped of 20 timber trusses converging as a spiral towards one point in the sky. The triangular trusses form different paths towards a central space holding a giant 3D printed mandala, the heart of Galaxia. The timber modules start large enough to hold small alcoves in which people can write in peace. As participants walk through the path, the timber modules lift up and become thinner and thinner towards the sky as people reach the central mandala.

Mamou-Mani Ltd Mamou-Mani Ltd is a new kind of architectural practice specialising in digitally-designed and fabricated architecture, custom products and interfaces. We can design, make and create at our own fabrication facility, FabPub. They believe in innovation, and work with clients all over the world to create unique spaces, pieces, and experiences that inspire the mind and up-lift the soul. Their ambition is to work with our clients to create sustainable designs that will not only help our planet, but also trigger instant curiosity and awe. This pushes the studio to constantly innovate using new processes, technologies and biomaterials to revolutionise our environment. As an award-winning international RIBA chartered practice, Mamou-Mani Ltd's unique approach has given them the opportunity to realise some ambitious visions. They pride themselves on a collaborative culture that has seen them work with a variety of artists, designers and brands around the world who are courageously redefining their fields.

RUMOER 77 - WOOD! 4th Quarter 2021 27th year of publication Praktijkvereniging BouT Room 02.West.090 Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft Julianalaan 134 2628 BL Delft The Netherlands tel: +31 (0)15 278 1292 fax: +31 (0)15 278 4178 instagram: @bout_tud Printing ISSN number 1567-7699 Editorial Committee Aditya Soman Christopher Bierach Daphne de Bruin Eren Gozde Anil (Editor-in-Chief) Fawzi Bata Thomas Lindemann Tim Schumann

Membership Amounts per academic year (subject to change): € 10,- Students € 30,- PhD Students and alumni € 30,- Academic Staff Single copies: Available at Bouw Shop (BK) for : € 5,- Students €10,- Academic Staff , PhD Students and alumni Sponsors Praktijkvereniging BouT is looking for sponsors. Sponsors make activities possible such as study trips, symposia, case studies, advertisements on Rumoer, lectures and much more. For more info contact BouT: If you are interested in BouT’s sponsor packages, send an e-mail to: Disclaimer The editors do not take any responsibility for the photos and texts that are displayed in the magazine. Images may not be used in other media without permission of the original owner. The editors reserve the right to shorten or refuse publication without prior notification.

Cover Page Aerial Photograph of Galaxia by Mamou Mani RUMOER is the official periodical of Praktijkvereniging BouT, student and practice association for Building Technology (AE+T), at the Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft (Delft University of Technology). This magazine is spread among members and relations. Circulation: The RUMOER appears 3 times a year, with more than 150 printed copies and digital copies made available to members through online distribution.

Interested to join? The Rumoer Committee is open to all students. Are you a creative student that wants to learn first about the latest achievements of TU Delft and Building Technology industry? Come join us at our weekly meeting or email us @


The Swatch and Omega Campus One of the World’s Largest Wood Building Projects -Shigeru Ban Architects (project).


The Revival of Wood -Arch. Piet Kerckhof, Wood-Architects (company).


Arthur Mamou-Mani : An Interview -Christopher Bierach and Tim Schumann, TU Delft (interview).


Long-span Timber Roof Structure for the New Feyenoord Stadium -Lorijn Bauer, TU Delft (graduate)


Experiments with Glueless Laminated Wood -Niels Groeneveld, Werkstatt (company)


Nieuw Delft Observation Tower: Circular design in timber structures -Edmund Thomas Green - TU Delft Ludvig Sundnerg - Lund University (academic)


SeARCH - Hotel Jakarta : An interview

- Eren Gozde Anil and Tim Schumann, Tu Delft (interview)

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Sustainable timber structures -Willem Wouter van Wijnen, TU Delft (graduate)


Vakwerk builds in wood: The Vakwerkhuis & De Klepperstee


- Vakwerk architecten (company)

A(BouT) 27th Board - Sarah Hoogenboom (BouT article)


EDITORIAL Dear Reader, I am incredibly excited to introduce my first issue as the new editor in chief from the 27th BouT Board. Firstly, I would like to express my gratitude for the previous editor in chief, Aditya Soman, who steered the wheel for RuMoer’s great successes





with the last three issues with our dear committee members, for all his work and support for 77th issue: Wood!. The last issue of RuMoer is a great success, as it was read by more than 1600 people thanks to the inspiring theme and




Rumoer committee 2020-2021

digital add-ons. For the next three issues of my tenure, I would like to keep this acceleration of growth stable if not rising and to

are traced back to the construction industry. Consequently, a

reach more people who are interested in Building Technology

very traditional material in many geographies, wood, is back in

and its wonders.

the scene. There are many projects being carried out utilizing timber and CLT however there is still a lot to discover.

Secondly, I would like to welcome the new BouT Board and new members of Rumoer committee for the upcoming year and thank them for their hard work to make this issue come strong during the last couple of months.

With the 77th issue of RuMoer: Wood!, we aim to highlight the possibilities wood provides and innovative ways of utilising this material with today’s technological advancements as well as its place in sustainable design. As we were preparing the

With this issue, our focus is to explore a theme which is

issue, we saw that wood is a marvelous material which can be

simple but interesting which can be approached from many

used in many different ways. We hope to broaden your horizons

perspectives. This theme happened to be timber due to its

regarding the topic and inspire you!

reappearance in architecture after years of abundance with the industrialised use of concrete and steel. With the Paris

I hope you enjoy reading the issue!

Climate Agreement, carbon emissions are aimed to be reduced significantly by 2050. Material related carbon has a huge

Eren Gozde Anil

impact regarding the issue while 40% of carbon emissions

Editor-in-chief | Rumoer 2020-2021



77 | Wood!


The Swatch and Omega Campus

One of the World’s Largest Wood Building Projects Shigeru Ban Architects Climate change is a reality that must be addressed both in how we live and how we build: our individual decisions to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions can change the world. However, building construction in its current state does not responsibly consider the future and well-being of our planet. To this end, Shigeru Ban Architects promotes building in wood as a model for environmental consciousness. Although timber is one of the oldest building materials, it is also one which holds much promise for the future.

One such example of timber construction by Shigeru Ban Architects is the Swatch and Omega Campus. At 46,778 sq m (503,514 sq ft), the project is Shigeru Ban Architects’ largest and most exuberant hybrid mass timber project to date, and one of the largest hybrid Fig. 1:The Swatch and Omega Campus

mass timber projects in the world. 7

77 | Wood! Fig. 2: Cité du Temps

Fig. 3: The Swatch Headquarters Interior

The Campus The Swatch and Omega Campus is a monumental timber building project, comprised of three buildings:

The Buildings The Swatch Headquarters is playful, innovative, and provocative. Its gridshell roof structure consists of 7,700 unique timber pieces, designed by a specialized computer program to promote efficiency and minimize errors. All wood pieces were fabricated with a precision of 0.1 mm (0.003 in), allowing each piece to fit perfectly on site.

1) The Swatch Headquarters – Swatch’s multistory office space 2) The Omega Factory – the production center of Omega watches 3) Cité du Temps – the Swatch and Omega museum and conference hall The buildings share a design language, material palette, and environmental ethos, reflecting the unified brands of Swatch and Omega while expressing each building’s individuality through contrasting structural forms.


In contrast, the Omega Factory is a strict, precise, and rigid rectilinear building. Its clean-room construction is unprecedented for a timber building. Cité du Temps, which is owned by the Swatch Group, unifies 18 unique subsidiary watch brands and acts as an interface between Swatch and Omega both figuratively and physically: the building intersects with the Swatch Headquarters’ canopy.

Shigeru has since turned to wood as a primary building material not only for its creative potential and material efficiency, but also for its qualities as a natural, renewable

material which has the capacity to sequester carbon and help heal the planet. Over the past two decades, Shigeru has advanced the field of wood and mass timber design and construction. His early experiments with paper tube structures led to a series of innovative lightweight and efficient wood structure designs, including the Atsushi Imai Memorial Gymnasium (Akita, Japan, 2002) and Furniture Houses (1995-2006). These projects led to the development of much larger scale advanced wood and mass timber structures, beginning with the Centre Pompidou-Metz (Metz, France, 2010). The recently completed Swatch and Omega Campus marks another milestone, demonstrating the scale and capacity of timber in environmentally-conscious building practices.


From Paper to Wood Shigeru Ban’s global humanitarian work began in 1994, when he applied his understanding of paper tubes as an ideal recyclable, lightweight, and inexpensive structural material to refugee housing in Rwanda. The following year, he established the Voluntary Architects Network, an NGO through which he has provided a wide array of relief projects for nearly 25 years, including housing, community centers, concert halls, and elementary schools. In each project, careful attention is paid to the lifecycle of both materials and resultant buildings.

Fig. 4: The Swatch Headquarters During Construction


77 | Wood! Fig. 5: Cité du Temps Interior

Fig. 6: Omega Factory Interior

The Benefits of Building in Wood The Swatch and Omega buildings demonstrate the numerous benefits of timber construction, for both humans and the planet:

sustainably sourced, it has the capacity to sequester carbon, and bring us one step closer to the goal of making buildings carbon neutral, or even carbon negative.

• Wood is one of the few completely renewable building materials, and perhaps the only viable renewable material available to comprise a large-scale building’s primary structure. • Well-managed forests and the production of new advanced timber construction materials create value in our natural resources and establish important relationships between urban and rural economies. • Timber construction can help significantly reduce a building’s carbon footprint, with half of the emissions of concrete and one third the emissions of steel. When


• Timber’s integrated design and delivery process facilitates coordination among architects, engineers, and construction teams, leading to reduced construction durations and costs, as well as clean and quiet construction sites. • In addition to the architectural merit of timber buildings, studies have shown that occupants are happier, healthier, and more productive in wood environments. Collectively, the three buildings were constructed from 4,600 m³ (160,000 ft³) of 100% Certified Swiss timber. Considering the growth rate of Swiss forests, it would only take 10 hours to regrow this quantity of wood domestically!


Well-being - for People and the Planet In addition to the ecological benefits of wood, the Swatch and Omega Campus has numerous other environmentallyconscious strategies. To achieve low energy consumption and a better working environment, state-of-the-art technologies such as radiative cooling and heating with activated ceiling panels are employed, as well as water pipes cast into concrete slabs, which allows for draft-free air conditioning. Ground water is used as a heat source in order to achieve a significant reduction of both heating and cooling power. The roofs of all three buildings are equipped with photovoltaic panels. Each technological strategy introduced into the project is intended to reduce the building’s impact on the planet, and serve as a benchmark for all buildings in the future. Beyond the aforementioned technical features, the three buildings are designed for employee comfort, promoting both well-being and productivity. Wood environments are known to contribute to greater occupant happiness. Whereas most clean rooms have a sterile aesthetic, the Omega Factory incorporates the warmth of timber. Its break

Fig. 7: The Swatch Headquarters Interior

Fig. 8: The Swatch Headquarters Interior


77 | Wood!

rooms are equipped with full-height glass shutters, creating an indoor-outdoor space. The Swatch Headquarters is vast and open, with three-dimensional physical and visual continuity throughout the building, promoting a feeling of openness and solidarity while improving communication. Thanks to its carefully tuned acoustic design, workspaces maintain comfortable noise levels even with a full office. Building for the Future Shigeru Ban Architects has been designing and building in wood for over 25 years, and continues to advocate for a sustainable approach to building. The firm’s current work includes timber cultural, arts, commercial, and residential projects, each with the capacity to change the way we think about building. The design and construction of the

Swatch and Omega Campus carefully considers the needs of both the building inhabitants and the planet, resulting in a unique set of buildings that reflects the values of Swatch and Omega, as well as Shigeru Ban Architects. Shigeru Ban Architects Shigeru Ban Architects was established in Tokyo in 1985. Founded as a small practice, SBA has since grown to become an international architecture firm with offices in Tokyo, Paris, and New York. SBA’s work carefully considers its geographic, historical, and cultural context, exploring new ways to integrate natural building materials with innovative construction practices. The firm is a leader in contemporary mass timber design.

Shigeru Ban is an architect, educator, and humanitarian with a global perspective. His unique international cultural sensibility stems from his diverse geographic background, having been raised in Tokyo, educated in California and New York, and now leading his firm from offices in Tokyo, New York, and Paris. Upon completing his studies at the Cooper Union, Shigeru returned to Tokyo to establish his firm, Shigeru Ban Architects. As an office of one, he began with exhibitions and small scale projects with limited budgets. In 1994, he established the Voluntary Architects Network, an NGO through which he has provided a wide array of relief projects for nearly 25 years. Simultaneously, Shigeru has advanced the field of wood and mass timber design and construction. In addition to his design work, Shigeru is dedicated to teaching the next generation of architects. He began teaching at Tama Art University in Tokyo in the early 1990s, and has since taught at numerous universities in Japan and the US, including Keio University, Harvard, Cornell, and Columbia. Shigeru is the recipient of awards including the Pritzker Prize, L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the National Order of the Legion of Honor in France, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture, and the Mother Teresa Award for Social Justice.


77 | Wood!

shaping facades | shaping infrastructure | shaping cities 13

77 | Wood!

Fig. 1: CLT Construction



The revival of WOOD Arch. Piet Kerckhof, Wood-Architects When I consider that wood as a construction material disappeared between the two world wars, because it didn’t fit in the propaganda of fascism and its typical architecture named Brutalism, I start a long discussion on world history. But without any doubt, during the period of Brutalism, concrete and steel created an image of no boundaries nor limits, infinite strength and eternal life. In those days, everybody was convinced wood didn’t have those boundaries.


77 | Wood!

Since the industrial revolution, Architects lost the connection with nature; with the new material they could ignore physical properties of the old fashion construction materials. Wood would be moved towards the past. Really ? I don’t think so. A British engineer (Geoffrey De Havilland) built a prototype of a wooden bomber for the Royal Air Force, in plywood. On the wall of the factory you could read “Whatever you do, don’t spare the glue”. It turned out to be the fastest plane in WW II. “The mosquito” was mainly used as a spy plane to prepare the landing in Normandy on June 6th 1944. The weight and its speed made the mosquito so popular. It didn’t need any weapon on board, because it outran the German Messerschmidt. Later in war it was also used for bombing, because of its high altitude. Engineered wood, like Plywood or Glulam, has been in use since the beginning of the industrial revolution, with many examples in furniture, decoration, but also in very large buildings where the combination of strength and weight is very important. And still the 20th century is dominated by concrete and steel.

Fig. 3: CLT Construction Connection

History teaches us that wood has never been gone, only slightly overwhelmed by more arrogant building materials, used by ego-driven political leaders, architects and realestate investors. The modesty of Wood shows its natural beauty in any type of architecture. A famous Belgian architect and one of my most important teachers (very proud to have been his student) Juliaan Lampens built many residential buildings in concrete and glass. But the beauty of his designs definitely comes from the combination with wooden furniture and decoration. ( wiki/Juliaan_Lampens) Since WW II, overconsumption and lack of respect to nature became the measurement of wealth and prosperity. The first indications of severe climate change were published in the 70th by the club of Rome. Shortly after (beginning of the 80th) there was the Qatsi film trilogy (Koyaanisqatsi Fig. 2: CLT Wall and Slab


Company Fig. 4: CLT Building (construction phase)

(1982), Powaqqatsi (1988) and Naqoyqatsi (2002)). The trilogy depicts different aspects of the relationsip between humans, nature and technology. It took another 20 years before the UNFCCC, started in Berlin (1995), could realize the Kyoto-protocol in 1997. The awareness about the damage, humans create on their living environment, rises slowly. But COVID might have speed up the awareness.

can even be turned from a carbon source into a carbon sink, if organic building materials like wood and smart technologies like AI are applied”. With this statement, we have no excuse anymore not to build in wood. Although we need not to repeat the same mistakes from the past. We must use technology to improve fire-resistance, acoustic behavior and prefabrication.

In octobre 2020, Ursula Van der Leyen, president of the European Commission, mentioned in her State of the Union, the European Green Deal as the key to tackle climate change. I quote her about the NextGenerationEU “Our buildings generate 40% of our emissions. They need to become less wasteful, less expensive and more sustainable. And we know that the construction sector

Building with wood doesn’t start nor end at the construction site. Today the European forests produce 25 – 30 m3 industrial wood per second. This means that an average house grows in 4 – 5 seconds. To maintain this growth, we need to preserve our forests. Today we only harvest 60% of the yearly expansion of the European Forests. If we double the today’s demand, we cut our resources. There has to be


77 | Wood! Fig. 5: Office with Wood Construction

a balance between production and harvesting. Thanks to PEFC and FSC labeling, we know the wood comes from sustainable managed forestry. To motivate developing countries not to cut forests to create farmland, we need to pay those countries for the Oxygen, produced by those trees. For every m3 of wood, there has been produced 700 kg of Oxygen and captured 1000 kg of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Once we harvested the wood, we must minimize waste during the production process. Technology can help designers to optimize the consumption of wood, through BIM and prefabrication. Technology can also help designers to keep track of used material throughout the entire lifecycle, for example the madaster. This database will stimulate a reuse of materials before degrading into a downsized product. When finally the wood is downgraded to waste, it can, when properly used, be useful as biomass. If it will be burned to produce energy, it will finally release the carbon, that has been stored for decades. During those decades, the original space in the forest has produced multiple volume of wood.

The latest project, we built, is a recreation-park for Roompot. It holds 121 units, all constructed in CLT. Many efforts have been put in to meet a high sustainable standard. The surface is only covered with concrete (main road) for 8%. The 92% of the entire site is capable of buffering of infiltrating rainwater. This has been realized by putting green roofs on the units and terraces in open tiles. The rainwater is collected in the valley to infiltrate in the soil. There is no connection to the public sewer-system for the rainwater. Thereby we preserve the level of groundwater. All trees and plants are local vegetation to create a perfect bio-diversity in and around the park. The concept of the buildings is focused on circularity. The insulation in the floor is put underneath the concrete slab. The glass granulates can support 27 tons/m2. We don’t need any other foundation. If ever the units will be removed, it will be no effort to restore the soil and vegetation. The glass granulates can endless be reused or recuperated as resource for new glass granulates. The concrete slab is the floor finishing. The walls and slabs are made in CLT-panels (cross laminated timber). The wood, used for the entire park, has been growing in the European Forests in 2 minutes. The park stores 2.500 tons of carbon and has emitted 2.500

Fig. 6: Site Plan of Recreation-Park in Roompot


Company Fig. 7: Photograph of the Recreation Park (construction)

Fig. 8: Photograph of the Recreation Park (construction)

Fig. 9: Visualisation of the Recreation Park


77 | Wood! Fig.10: Visualisation of the Recreation Park

Fig. 11: Visualisation of the Recreation Park at Night


Building with respect for nature is not a challenge anymore and can easily become the standard. It only needs a updated mindset for the architects, contractors and investors. If we all become humble towards nature, we can still reverse climate change. Wood Architects Wood Architects has a long history in working with wood. In the late 70’s and early 80’s the former team assisted creating a woodframe industrialized system. One of the first contractors for woodframe houses in Belgium worked with this system for several decades. The firm has always been a

pioneer in wood architecture. We evolved from woodframe, modern log cabins to CLT mass timber, with all less known woodsystems in between. The firm recently changed its name to Wood Architects, because WOOD became almost exclusively the construction material for the projects. Concrete, steel or masonry are only used where necessary.


tons less carbon dioxide during production then concrete. Therefore we are proud to announce we are responsible for a difference of 5.000 tons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. With the gain of 5.000 tons, we compensate the emission of all cars/trucks, coming to and leaving from the park for the next 25 years. By 2045 there will be not much transportation on fossil fuel anymore. The entire park is completely electricity-driven. On the future main building, there will be a PV-installation of > 60kWp. It will not cover the entire energy-needs. Also choosing for renewable energy, is focusing on climate change.

The present team includes 1 intern-architect, 2 juniorarchitects, 2 senior project-architects and 1 officeassistent. We constantly are looking for new passionate colleagues for a rapid growth. Allthough we are a small firm, we do work in a BIM environment from the first sketches of a new project to the CNC-files for the production of the CLT panels. Our 2020 ambition was to store yearly 1000 tons of carbon in our projects. This year we have a new ambition. We focus on the 17 SDG’s (sustainable development goals). In our team, we work on (4) quality education, (5) gender equality, (8) decent work and economic growth, (10) reduced inequalities, (11) sustainable cities and communities, (12) responsible consumption and production, (13) climate action and (17) partnerships for the goals. We strongly believe in the SDG’s, because it results in a futureproof company-policy and justified ethics.

Piet Kerckhof, got his architecture diploma from H.A.I. St Luke, Ghent in 1986, specialising in Building Techniques and Informatics with his thesis: “2/4, Houtskeletbouw” which is focused on technical and artistic possibilities of timber frame construction in the past and present. Piet also studied on Passive buildings, Technical installations in buildings, Energy technologies in buildings, Bio-ecological buildings. As an architect, his interests include urban design and implementation of spatial policy, use of alternative and environmentally friendly energy, Feng Shui, timber construction and passive buildings, sustainability, ecology, conceptual and material use.



77 | Wood!


Arthur Mamou-Mani. An Interview by Christopher Bierach and Tim Schumann

Arthur Mamou-Mani is a pioneer in implementing digital fabrication tools into architecture. In the following article of Rumoer, he talks about the potential of digital manufacturing in wood, the workflow in his projects and the metaphysical spirit in Burning Man Galaxia.

Fig. 1: Burning Man Galaxia (credit : Mamou-Mani)


77 | Wood!

Rumoer: Where did you study and how did you start your office? Mamou-Mani: We are an architecture studio, but we also have a fabrication space. Mamou-Mani is the architecture studio and fabpub is our fabrication hub. The studio started 10 years ago when there was a big push and revolution around 3d printing and digital fabrication. I studied at the AA, so I was taught a lot of these tools, but no offices were using them to some extent. At the time the machines were quite small, and people were starting to assemble them themselves. I started assembling a 3d printer and just realized that within a conventional office, these tools could not be used. First, because the scale was too small, second because it was impossible to learn parametric tools and G-code when you have already an established architectural office. To some extent, there was no choice but to create a new office that does that. Since it was my interest and my passion, that's how we started. It was mainly to create a fabrication space to democratize access to those machines. Then the architecture studio sort of took off because our parametric approach came with a new language and people enjoyed that. Then, we started to go to for larger projects like burning man, and somehow it all merged into what we are now.

an impact driver. Wood is a very accessible material, very light, it's sturdy, it's carbon neutral. It comes in “off the shelf formats”, two by four, four by four, it's easy to engineer and it has a grading system- it's just very practical. We started with Burning Man slowly, first with Tangential Dreams and then Galaxia. Our learning about wood, its capabilities and the ways to connect, started there. Rumoer: You have shown the ability that wood in architecture isn't just a material applied to design, but it allows a certain connection with nature. Is there a strategy that you express towards the idea of nature? Mamou-Mani: We designed The Wooden Waves for Buro Happold. This was using plywood that we laser cut creating little hinges. Lattice hinges for origami that allow you to bend the material based on Springs can bend the material into places it wouldn't go naturally. We took that technique that is widely available and then applied it in the computer by using the surfaces property to then readjust where it's positioned parametrically. It's a bit geeky to say all that but since you are architectural students, I can go into the geekiness of it. This allowed us to create these flowing

Rumoer: What was the first project that you designed with wood? Mamou-Mani: That's a good question. It started with Burning Man because there weren’t many materials we could use. We were in the desert and we had to bring all materials with us. It has to be modular, easy to cut on-site, malleable in a way to adjust it because our students and volunteers were supposed to build it, not professional builders. Wood is the most flexible, most democratic material because you can shape it and adjust it in many ways. When you think of steel, you need to be a certified welder, but when you bring wood and wood screws, anyone can do and learn how to use


Fig. 2: The Wooden Waves (credit : Mamou-Mani)


geometries and tiling systems and using symmetry to modularize things. This project has a traditional pattern but is modularized to create components that fit our machines to be easily transportable. Rumoer: So, you actively design the production process? Mamou-Mani: It's all based on the constraints of the materials, hardware and software. That's really the power of parametric design, you create a holistic approach to projects where it's not quite the vision of an architect but more like a gardener that deals with older parameters at hand, and you just kind of let the project emerge. It's often surprising how they settle into a more natural or a more obvious design. It's less based on ego and more based on feeling right. It has a truth of its own and a life of its own. In that sense, it does feel very much like nature and going to the park and seeing a beautiful flower. You don't always think: “What a visionary design!” You're just like: “Oh, it's so beautiful!”. How did those micro-decisions over time lead to such a beautiful thing? There is something very humbling about it. Rumoer: I have a question about permanency. Do you think the usage of wood allows buildings to have multiple lives? Mamou-Mani: We are working on a wooden tower now. And we thought it's a shame to cut all these trees, especially because it's in a tropical climate. And we know that it's hard to find legal wood that is not cutting the habitats of wildlife animals. Instead, we bought the wood of an old bridge that wasn't used anymore. It's amazing, that wood is like a hundred years old and it's been in the water for a hundred years and we can still build a tower from it. I'll tell you more in a year, but it's amazing to know that wood is recyclable and can be disassembled and reassembled. Nature in that sense acts like this, a flower dies if it doesn't have enough sunlight and it's fine, you know, it's then reborn somewhere else.

Fig. 3: The Tower of Gaia (credit : Mamou-Mani)

Rumoer: Can parametric design be a long-term strategy to fully become carbon neutral? Mamou-Mani: Any material that comes from a renewable resource is sustainable. Anything that comes from mining or petroleum or any material with limited supply is not sustainable. I mean, it's a pretty easy equation at the end of the day. Bioplastics are from sugar canes or potatoes, starch wood is from any kind of timber and can be managed sustainably. It's forever until the earth gets absorbed by some star somewhere, but it's renewable. The term renewable is hand-in-hand with sustainability. I think every project is a challenge to go more and more towards renewable resources. If not, then there's a problem, and there is a problem at the moment because I cannot name


77 | Wood!

a project that is entirely in wood. There will always be a bit of concrete, a bit of steel, a bit of glass, so could we rethink every piece of a project, not just the main structure? But what do you use specifically for the glass? Rumoer: When I used to work in the architectural office EMBT, the first secret that I've learned at the office is the command “fillets”. This command is applied in all of the projects as a principal to follow nature. I was just wondering if there was a command or a way of working that you follow with your team when working with wood? Mamou-Mani: That's interesting. It's hard to summarize everything into one tool or one command, like fillet. I don't know if we have an equivalent. When you work with parametric tools, it's not about a procedural command it's more about branches and lists. I think it's a good way to see if someone knows Grasshopper is to ask them: “How you would exchange branches with items and items with branches?”, or if they understand what's the structure of a tree. Rumoer: What programs are you using to perform your designs? Are you also using programming languages? Mamou-Mani: Not quite, I think Grasshopper has everything you need with its plug-ins such as Kangaroo, Weaverbird, we love Parakeets. You don't really need to learn to code. Coding is maybe an interesting tool if you want to create new tools. But to be honest, Grasshopper is already about creating tools. I've learned C sharp to help writing Silkworm at the time because there wasn't a tool to explore G-code, now there's plenty. It's good to have control and learn that, but often people learn Python and they don't even know how to use Grasshopper. I think programming gives you more power because then you can go to the essence, but would you want to reinvent the wheel? Do you have to be such a purist? I had a teacher at the AA who wanted to do everything with mathematics, and he wanted to build


Fig. 4: Tangential Dreams (credit : Mamou-Mani)

entire buildings with equations. I just thought this was kind of over the top because you cannot summarize the world with a math equation. I'm sure the most abstract theorist would want to do that, but why not build on each other's knowledge? Share plugins or experiment with plugins and see what's already there rather than reinvent everything. Architects tend to innovate so much that they make it hard for themselves and then they don't sleep and then they're bitter and then they don't get paid. It's like we just have to be gentle with ourselves as architects, it's already a hard profession.

Mamou-Mani: I am still wondering how we managed, really. The workers were people from all over the world interested in building something so crazy and meaningful

Fig. 5: Construction of Burning Man Galaxia (credit : Mamou-Mani)

because it was a temple, a spiritual space. I think people wanted to be part of it because it is a space that meant things for people. And at the end of the day, things are driven by humans and willpower. If it's purposeful, I think there's enough fuel to create the impossible. We had to do everything from fundraising to design and engineering, it was everything from scratch. There wasn't a client, Burning Man guided us, and they gave us some money, but it was just a fraction of what we needed to do. It was real teamwork, a team spirit that got it done. For the assembly process, it was really about not letting the engineers or the people with professional skills make the choices, but letting the people that don't know how to build do things. Obviously, it was a place where we could experiment. Therefore, instead of using complex joints, we used the ratchet straps. Instead of using a series of beams that goes to a very complex node, we used pieces that we folded into origami and then we connected it with ratchet straps. Everything we used was kind of from your average hobbyist's store. I think it's tempting when you use parametric design to just go with highly bespoke, digitally fabrication. But where to use that versus where to use scaffolding poles is really where lies the magic of doing crazy huge projects. You have then to restrain yourself from spending too much money because we had a responsibility to deliver on time for the community. We only had 18 days to complete a 60 meters wide project with a team of 140 volunteers. So how do you structure a team? How do you make sure the tasks are clear enough, so they don´t have to come to me all the time? If your design is based on rules, then it's much easier to let a team handle and develop a design. Galaxia is simple, it's rotationally symmetrical, it comes from perpendicular angles and transforms to vertical angles at the top. You have 400 modules in total, there is this clear separation between the lower and upper crown, you then break it down into parts that are interrelated but are independent in a way. Everything was about assigning teams to the right spot, and then each team takes ownership of those pieces. It's a real collaborative effort. That was the only way to do it.


Rumoer: Let's go a bit closer to your project Burning Man Galaxia because it's an innovative and huge structure for such a temporary project. How did you manage to assemble the structure with unskilled workers to make them understand the plans correctly?


77 | Wood! Fig. 6: Burning Man Galaxia (credit : Mamou-Mani)

Rumoer: You said it's a temple. Do you think the material of wood deliberates the spiritual function of the building? Does it have a certain meaning and transfer a certain aura? Mamou-Mani: It's almost metaphysical. I remember the carpenters were saying that wood has a way to absorb the energies of everyone because it's a living thing. It has a special significance because it grows. There's really surprising scientific research looking into how trees communicate with one another. There is evidence that a tree will bring nutrients to its offspring as opposed to other trees coming from another DNA. Trees can communicate, trees can feed their offspring. We obviously couldn't see it before because we didn't have the electrical sensors and


we didn't have the tools to understand trees. And we see them as sturdy things, a tree cannot talk to you or move, but they're surprisingly alive. There are ways to use trees without even cutting them. There are cork materials where you can actually remove a layer and the tree continues to live, Bamboo or mycelium can also be seen as a wooden material. The symbolism of the building being a temple caters to thinking metaphysically rather than just purely functionality or science but caters towards a deeper yearning for meaning and which I think we probably lost with the modernist movement. For some reason, we lost a lot of what made our buildings so beautiful and magical, which is not just the function but also the spirituality of a building. A building is not just a box or something to use as a machine, it's here to give you comfort

Mamou-Mani: Obviously, I would have preferred not to burn it. It is a ritual that Burning Man has. It's a hard thing to explain, but when it comes to burning the temple, everyone is quiet. Everyone sits down in front of the temple, and people place very meaningful things inside it. Burning Man is seen as this big festival but people take it extremely seriously to the level of placing ashes of relatives. I took it very seriously because I knew that this was a place of mourning and a place of almost religion. You don't want to mess with these things. It wasn't a sort of: “Let's just do a beautiful structure out there”, especially because the founder of Burning Man died that year and his family went there to pay the last homage to him. I got married in there just to put a bit of lightness to it, but those are serious things in a way. Burning was part of the ritual. So, the responsibility came to use as little material as possible. The density is so light, it's about 3000 square meters and we used about 60

Fig. 7: Catharsis (credit : Mamou-Mani)


Rumoer: Since Galaxia is a temporary structure, how did you feel about burning it after so much work? Does this idea of leaving no trace influence your work?

tons of wood. It's not that much timber for the size of it. We also did Catharsis, a project where we could disassemble and reassemble the structure somewhere else. I think this was our answer to Burning Man Galaxia, a creative answer in a way.

and it's here to act as a place to make people happy.

Arthur Mamou-Mani is a French architect, and director of the awardwinning architecture practice Mamou-Mani, specialising in a new kind of digitally designed and fabricated architecture, a lecturer at the University of Westminster, and has given numerous talks around the world on “EcoParametric” architectural practice, including two TedX conferences in the U.S. and France. In 2020 the Architects Journal named Mamou-Mani one of it's 100 ‘Disruptor’ practices who are challenging the norms of traditional architecture practice in their drive to bring about sustainable alternatives.


Fig. 1: Final design of long-span timber roof structure for The New Feyenoord Stadium rendered in OMA visual.


Long-span Timber Roof Structure for the New Feyenoord Stadium Lorijn Bauer, Department of Civil Engineering, TU Delft. Throughout my graduation, I have combined several of

long-spanning roof structure (205x240m) was governed

my main interests in Structural Engineering to design a

by its high strength-to-weight ratio. Additionally, timber

special timber structure. I have designed a preliminary

structures are experiencing a revelation in the built

design of a long-span timber roof structure for the New

environment due to new technologies and production

Feyenoord Stadium. I created this design with guidance

techniques. However, the longest span created with

from Royal HaskoningDHV to finalise the Master of

timber structures still don't compete with the span

Science Structural Engineering at the TU Delft. The

widths of structures made of steel. I was also motivated

project delivered insight into the feasibility of a long-

by the fact that wood is a natural and renewable building

span structure in timber, which extends far beyond

material that acts as carbon storage, making it ideal for a

the existing maximum spans of timber structures. The

sustainable football stadium design as advocated by the

idea behind investigating a timber alternative for a very



77 | Wood!

“Many might argue that the cost of designing and building an environmentally friendly building outweighs the benefits. However, this is not always the case, and all stadium designers should be encouraged to incorporate as many sustainable solutions into the whole design as possible. Designing a football stadium with higher benefits is possible it simply required a more careful and conscientious design and thought process.” Figure 1: Quote from the UEFA guide to quality stadiums about stadium design and sustainability

I used the preliminary design for the New Feyenoord Stadium created by Royal HaskoningDHV and OMA, excluding the roof structure, as initial boundary conditions (Figure 2 and 3). The main structural requirement was that the stadium needs to be a perfect bowl with an elegant flat, almost floating roof that allows unobstructed viewing for spectators. Furthermore, the playing field needed to be

Fig. 2: Sectional view of the architectural design made by OMA

Fig. 3: Front view of the architectural design made by OMA.


exposed to the weather conditions for natural quality of the grass. The dimensional restraints were the following: the stadium will consist of three tiers with a total height of 40 metres, that need to be covered by a roof structure with a width of 205 metres, and a length of 245 metres. Analysis I analysed state-of-the-art knowledge to come up with a feasible design for the impossible-looking task of doubling the maximum span ever built with structural timber. Extensive research was conducted regarding structural timber, football stadium roof structures, long-spanning timber structures, and structural systems for long-spanning roof structures. Structural Timber Timber has a high strength-to-weight ratio that is beneficial for long-span structures in which the self-weight of the structure is a significant part of the load. It has natural durability, a good performance in fire conditions, ease of

Fig. 4: BauBuche: European beech (hardwood) (GL75) stronger than regular glued laminated timber

workability, and a high ratio of prefabrication. The latter two result in ease of construction and fewer human-induced errors. Engineered wood products make it possible to create complex timber structures with more reliability than wood in its natural shape. The most promising wood products for my research are laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and glued laminated timber (Glulam), where LVL made of beech hardwood has the highest strength properties. I chose to use the new engineered wood product called BauBuche, which is a Glulam made from this Beech LVL. It is currently the strongest product on the market that can be produced in the large sizes required. Also, it comes from properly

Arch Largest span 115 m

Box Girder Largest Span 63 m

Truss Largest Span 79 m


managed European forests and thus is an environmentally friendly choice of material. Furthermore, new types of connections diminish the impact that connections traditionally have on the structural performance of timber structures. The enormous size of this stadium means that multiple connections are necessary due to dimensional restrictions for transport. This will reduce the number of elements that can be prefabricated. Structural forms for long-span timber structures Several structural forms that are applied in long-span timber structures are the arch, box girder, truss, shell structure, space frame, and stress ribbon. These structural forms are employed in the following innovative reference projects: Multi-use Arena in Lisbon, Trade Fair Hall 11 in Frankfurt, the Anaklia-Ganmukhuri bridge in the Georgian Republic, the Maicasagi bridge in Nord-du-Quêbec, the geodesic domes in Brindisi, the Elephant House in Zurich, the Allianz-Riviera stadium in Nice, the Grandview Heights Aquatics Centre in Surrey, and the Essing bridge in Essing (Figure 5, projects in order from left to right with their corresponding free span). Structural systems for long-span football stadium roof The following promising configurations for a long-span football stadium roof are considered: single span, stress ribbon, shell roof system, and tension/compression ring.

Shell Largest Span 143 m

Stress Ribbon Largest Span 73 m

Cantilever/ Spaceframe Largest Span 46 m

Fig. 5: Promising structural forms for long-span timber structures.


77 | Wood!

Tension/Compression Ring

Single Span

Stress Ribbon

Grid Shell

Structural Efficiency Robustness Ease of Construction/Production Simplicity of Connections Aesthetics/Configuration Support Reactions Optimization Possibilities Advantage of Timber Total Score








Fig. 6: Harris Profile to conduct my global design assessment.

Inner Ring (Flat Truss)

205 m Arch Effect

Stress Ribbons

Outer Ring (Triangular Truss)

245 m

Fig. 7: FEM model with design constraints of the timber stadium roof structure with 108 stress ribbons


By: Assessing Form Structure Material

Alternating cross sectional dimensions in an iterative loop

To keep: Force utilisation below 60% in FEM model

To Incorporate: The force utilisation of timber elements and connections

Result: Structural feasible solution?

Figure 8: Iterative analysation of the structural timber system to come to a feasible design


Computational parametric modelling After a high-level assessment of the design concepts, it was concluded to use a structural configuration that has never been combined before. Namely, a combination between a tension/compression ring structure and a stress ribbon configuration showed the greatest potential for an efficient roof structure for the New Feyenoord stadium. This system is mathematically very complex because of its non-linear behaviour. Consequently, I decided to model and verify the structural system in the parametric FEM environment of Grasshopper and Karamba3D. These programs make it relatively easy to investigate the coherence of many different parameters on the structural performance of a complex structure. A downside of Grasshopper is that its components are mainly developed for steel structures and it is thus difficult to assign the orthotropic behaviour of wood. In my case, I incorporated the orthotropic material characteristics into strength verifications performed outside of the FEM program. The complete modelled structural system can be seen in Figure 7. The iterative analysis of the structural system that accounts for the difference in material behaviour in the FEM environment is shown in Figure 8. It was also important to have similar dimensions of akin elements for ease of manufacturing, transport, and speed of construction.

These systems are successfully used in several existing stadium roof structures around the world. I have created several initial designs based upon the investigated structural forms and promising configurations, as can be seen in Figure 6. The designs were quantified upon their structural behaviour and benefits for the case of the New Feyenoord stadium while bearing in mind the material behaviour of timber in each system. My main assessment criteria were; its structural efficiency, the simplicity of connections, aesthetics, and optimisation possibilities. The assessment is executed via a Harris Profile. I searched for an out-of-the-box solution to be able to accommodate the lack of applicability of traditional timber systems.

Stress Ribbon Inner Truss Ring


15 m Outer Truss Ring

40 m


55-69 m


29 m

Fig. 9: Configuration of elements and their design constraints of internal distance


77 | Wood!

truss core roller bearing supports

inner ring - inner ring steel plates with bolts and dowels

outer ring triangular truss internal vertical truss prefabricated with GSA rods & rest slotted in steel plates w/ bolts and dowels

stress ribbon internal slotted in steel plates with self-drilling dowels

outer ring - outer ring steel plates with bolts and dowels

outer ring - stress ribbon steel plate with screws and steel plate with GSA rods

inner ring flat truss internal prefabricated with GSA rods

stress ribbon - inner ring steel plate with screws and steel plate with GSA rods

Fig. 10: Suggested connection solutions with black outer line and designed connections with green outer line

Fig. 11: Final design of a long-span timber roof structure for the New Feyenoord Stadium


is supported on roller bearings for stress distribution to maximise ring action forces. An overview of the suggested and designed connections are seen in figure 10.


Final design The final design consists of a triangular truss for the outer ring and a flat truss for the inner ring with radial stress ribbons in between, figure 9. My structural design proved to be a feasible solution for the highest downward load instigated by the wind. The stress ribbons make use of their inherent bending stiffness to carry the loads as strong ropes. However, the non-circumferential perimeter of the stadium results in undesirable utilisation distribution within the element groups. Large cross-sections are required to provide stiffness to the entire structural system. Also, some locally over-stressed areas due to shear forces need to be strengthened with screws, which can be easily done in a timber structure. At last, my designed connections for the ribbons fulfil the strength verifications. These connections consist of self-drilling dowels through slotted-in steel plates, self-drilling screws, and glued-in steel rods. Many steel fasteners are used to increase the efficiency factor of the joint. Connections for the complex nodes in the ring trusses consist of slotted-in steel plates with bolts and dowels, glued-in rods, and cast steel parts. The structural system

Improvements The presented structural design only takes downward loading into account. Potential solutions to accommodate uplifting forces include; increasing the weight of the structural elements in the loaded area, tensile ties, or tensile cables attached to the bottom side of the ribbons. A more in-depth analysis of its stability against uplift forces and asymmetrical loading is needed to verify the proposed solutions applicable to this timber structure. Conclusion My design of a timber long-span stadium roof structure shows potential to be a feasible solution for the New Feyenoord Stadium. It will be a grand architectural statement that makes a stadium iconic, being the only tension/compression ring system with stress ribbons as radial cables constructed with engineered timber made of European hardwood.

Lorijn Bauer is a façade engineer for Inhabit Group Sydney, Australia. During his bachelor’s he developed an interest in timber structures. This made him choose for the master structural engineering with a specialisation in steel, timber, and composite structures at the TU Delft. His interest in these topics resulted in conducting the presented design study for a long-spanning timber roof structure for The New Feyenoord stadium. Lorijn is an advocate for the use of more structural timber in the construction industry to balance the overusage of steel and concrete. Just like in nature: a good balance of different materials will result in a more durable and sustainable built environment.



Experiments with Glueless Laminated Wood Niels Groeneveld, Werkstatt

Modern timber construction consists of a broad range of techniques, many of which originated in old crafts and traditions. Carpenters used to explore forests in search of trees with the right curve or trunk shape so that they could create structural elements that optimized the direction of the grain. Special timber joints were designed to take up specific forces (pull, push, torque, etc.). Carpenters were able to ‘read’ the quality of wood by examining it closely. Even today, a solid knowledge of past techniques remains essential in bringing timber construction forward and truly innovating. In these modern, competitive times when labour is expensive, it is increasingly hard to work with traditional techniques. To maintain and nurture a ‘timber building culture’, old techniques must be adapted and further developed, while radically new techniques must also be found. 39 Fig. 1: Production of the final elements

77 | Wood!

In 2018 the Erasmus research program ‘Crafting Wood’ was initiated through a collaboration between the universities of Trondheim (Norway), Vaduz (Liechtenstein) and the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture. Within the framework of this program Werkstatt was invited to work on a number of projects with a common goal: to bridge the gap between old and new craft, strengthening continuity of knowledge about timber architecture. Schaesberg Castle gate tower The architecture office Werkstatt together with Machiel Spaan initiated three research projects together with students from the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture to achieve this goal. They focused on an analysis of an

Fig. 2 & 3: Schaesberg tower view from outside and the original octogonal timber structure of the "bell-shaped" roof


alternative reconstruction of the former central tower of Schaesberg Castle in the province of Limburg in the south of the Netherlands. This ancient stone tower had an eyecatching, slate-clad, ‘bell-shaped’ roof, supported by a timber structure. The original tower structure remains something of a mystery, because the original plans were lost. An analysis has been made based on the few sketches, measurements, photographs and comparable structures that still exist. The remarkable bell shape is clearly visible in photographs of the exterior. Only one interior image reveals some information about the tower’s octagonal load-bearing structure. It does, however, reveal something interesting about the structure: a 22.5 degree vertical rotation of the tower’s central cross-shaped main structure relative to its square stone base. This is the result of the octagonal horizontal section, which makes up the facetted bell shape, consisting of eight single-curved surfaces. Heavy solid oak members were used for the main structure. The structure’s overall height of approximately 9 metres is at the limit of what is possible with single members. The structure was likely composed of multiple members to reach the total height. O4 research studio - Amsterdam Academy of Architecture The goal of the research studio was to understand the differences and similarities between traditional and hightech methods, and to apply this knowledge to a design assignment: an alternative reconstruction of the complex roof structure of Schaesberg Castle’s gate tower. The studio explored two traditional and two contemporary techniques of joinery and construction. Seventeenthcentury shipbuilding methods provided interesting insights into creating curved geometries, by harvesting and applying pre-curved timber beams from curved trees. The use of naturally grown ‘Y joints’ from tree branches also provided insight into benefiting from nature’s most efficient joinery skills. In contrast, digital methods such as CNC milling and laminating show the current state of the timber industry. CNC-milled cross-laminated timber structures have succeeded in combining ‘skin’ and ‘structure’, creating possibilities to ‘open up’ spaces that were formerly occupied by load-bearing structures. And of course the technique

Fig. 4 & 5: Traditional and comtemporary techniques of production of structural timber elements

structure provided a valuable starting point. The structure’s complex geometrical facets posed multiple challenges for this physical exercise. The aim of the workshop was to create a ‘pavilion’ or roof structure, consisting of curved timber trusses, derived from the shape of the tower’s cross-section. The top side of the trusses had to follow the exact curve, while the bottom side and supports could be designed freely. Giving students certain restrictions in terms of shape, dimensions and quantity of material yielded an interesting collection of ideas. The result was a diverse collection of timber trusses, together embodying the wealth of solutions offered by timber construction. Slotlab - research by Werkstatt The O4 studio and Erasmus workshop ran parallel to the Slotlab research project initiated by Machiel Spaan and Material Sense LAB for the IBA 2020 (Internationale Bauausstellung) in Parkstad. Slotlab invites young designers to reconstruct parts of Schaesberg Castle using modern, innovative methods. Architecture office Werkstatt was asked to reconstruct the traditional bell-shaped roof structure of the castle’s central gate tower using innovative timber construction techniques. The original structure that supported the remarkable roof consisted of solid beams sawn from big oaks that are now scarce in the region. These


of laminating makes it possible to create precise and efficiently curved structures by using fast-grown softwood available locally. The aim was to apply a combination of these techniques to create ‘contemporary’ fragments of the curved roof structure, thereby generating valuable insight into the future role of wood in organic architecture. Erasmus WOOD workshop - Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, with the Universities of Trondheim and Vaduz Designing with wood requires specific knowledge about the material because of its natural, anisotropic properties. The only way to truly understand this is to work with the material at scale 1:1. The curved shape of the Schaesberg tower

Fig. 6: Workshop about curved timber trusses


77 | Wood!

big structural beams made the space beneath the roof impenetrable. Werkstatt wanted to free up this space so that visitors could experience the roof structure up close. In addition, there was a desire to make use of wood harvested locally. This mostly comes from smaller trees that call for different construction methods. To this end, Werkstatt investigated the ideas of the very first timber engineers who in the early 19th century built innovative composite timber structures, also called ‘laminated timber structures’. Among them was the French engineer Emy, who used timber arches with thin laminations for several military buildings and based designs on full-scale tests, like the hangar at Marac in 1825. In structures like these numerous thin layers of timber are pressed to form a strong, thick beam. Structures of this kind are increasingly common today, but nowadays a lot of glue is involved. In the past, they featured smart connections

Fig. 7: Render exploded view of the "bell-shaped" roof with the projected timber structure

Fig. 8: Close up view on the final trusses joinery detail


Fig. 9: Close up view on the whole truss

a round platform to allow visitors to experience the tower to the full. In addition to a fully digital model, one rafter was built at a scale of 1:3. Freshly sawn Douglas fir from the locality was laminated and fastened without the use of any glue, with just mechanical connections of steel and timber. In this way, assumptions and expectations could be physically tested and confirmed: the structure turned out to be very strong and stable, retaining its exact shape after the removal of the mould. Werkstatt picked up where the 19th-century engineers had left off, combining their ideas with the most modern timber construction techniques. And thus the new tower roof was a homage to more than two centuries of innovation in timber construction, bridging old and new.


of steel or timber. That makes it possible, in theory, to dismantle the structure and reuse the timber. This aligns more with the current tendency to consider the sustainable use of materials and circularity. Unfortunately, midway through the 19th century, this pioneering work a handful of timber engineers was overshadowed by the arrival of wrought iron. Today, the use of timber in construction is on the rise, because it has a positive CO2-footprint, in contrast to steel and concrete. In the new design for the top of the tower, Werkstatt sought to achieve a high level of material efficiency by resisting the wind load and gravity with a combination of curved and straight timber components. In this way, structural material can be added where the forces are greatest, and material can be minimized in other places, resulting in an elegantly slender structure. Space is kept open in the centre of this structure for a spiral stairs and

Niels Groeneveld (1985) graduated cum laude as an architect at the Eindhoven Technical University in 2012. He received the second prize at the National Archiprix and became finalist at the International Archiprix. He worked at Paul de Ruiter Architects and practiced as a furniture maker before starting his own architecture office. Niels has had teaching positions at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, TU Eindhoven and TU Delft.  In 2014 he founded the architecture office Werkstatt together with Raoul Vleugels. A collaboration which emerged from their shared interest in natural building materials and a hands-on approach to the design process. Werkstatt recently won the Jonge Maaskantprijs 2021.



77 | Wood!


Nieuw Delft Observation Tower: Circular design in timber structures Edmund Thomas Green - TU Delft

Ludvig Sundnerg - Lund University The best way to minimize the environmental impact of a building is to reuse materials that are already in circulation. This could help lower carbon emissions in the building industry and reduce the amount of waste created by it as well. But to achieve a high level of reusability, we need to rethink the way we connect materials together so that their disassembly is made as easy as possible. This concept was explored in a new development in Delft by TU Delft master students Edmund Thomas Green and Ludvig Sundberg. Their project, the Nieuw Delft Observation Tower, is a 10 meter tall temporary timber structure in Delft, the Netherlands. It’s built without the use of any nails, bolts, screws or glue from the foundation and upwards, as an exploration of circular design and building practices in timber structures. Fig. 1: Looking up from the atrium credits: Vincent Basler



77 | Wood!

The project was developed by Thomas Green and Sundberg in collaboration with Glass Swinging Structures Engineering after winning a student design competition arranged by the local municipality in collaboration with the Bouwkunde student organisation: Stylos. The brief called for a temporary design focused on sustainability and re-use with a footprint of 4 x 4 metres, that could be built by volunteer lay persons, within a €12,000 budget. The site is shared with I-CHANGE; a small restaurant with a community participation ethos that champions sustainable dining practices by sourcing food waste from other local vendors to reduce waste. Positioned just South of Delft railway station besides the Westlandseweg main road, the site lies adjacent to Nieuw Delft; a large development plan that will expand the city centre to the south-west. The observation tower was tasked with offering a vantage point for local residents to witness and experience the progress of the Nieuw Delft scheme being implemented in their city. To achieve a high level of re-usability, the structure is held together using steel packaging straps creating contact



Fig. 2: Axonometric view of the tower on site


Fig. 3: Steel packaging straps mounting process ARIEL ISOMETRIC VIEW IN CONTEXT


2329 Tower - Permit Application 2329 Tower - Permit Application

2329 Tower - Permit Application

2329 Tower - Permit Application

2329 Tower - Permit Application

2329 Tower - Permit Application

Observation Deck

Ground Floor & Observation Deck Plans 1:50 @ A3 Drawn by: ETG Sep 2020


Observation Deck

Ground Floor

Ground Floor & Observation Deck Plans 1:50 @ A3

Observation Deck

Section AA

Fig. 4:GROUND Floor Plans Sections of the tower FLOOR AND OBSERVATION and DECK FLOORS Ground Floor Drawn by: ETG Sep 2020

Section BB Deck Plans Section CC Section BB Ground Floor & Observation 1:50 @ A3

Section AA Observation Deck

Drawn by: ETG


Section AA & BB 1:50 @ A3

Section AA & BB 1:50 @ A3

Drawn by: ETG Sep 2020

Drawn by: ETG Sep 2020

Section CC

Ground Floor

Section DD 5/15

Section DD

Section CC & DD 1:50 @ A3 Drawn by: ETG Sep 2020 North Elevation



Ground Floor & Observation Deck Plans 1:50 @ A3

force (or friction) between the members of timber. As the straps only hold the timber in place, the impact on the raw material of the structure is minimal, allowing the wood to be re-used for different projects once the tower reaches the end of it’s lifespan. The straps are fastened using a simple hand tensioning tool, donated to the project by Fromm Packaging Solutions. This enabled the tower to be constructed without the use of any heavy machinery on site. The tool was chosen because of its simplicity, meaning it could be mastered by novice builders with little training. The combination of this handson building technique with the amateur workers using them resulted in an artisan aesthetic. The details are eclectic and reflect the learning process of mastering this innovative building method. As you climb the tower, marks in the building fabric reflect the team that made them, making both the designers and the builders a part of the completed project. This brings a charming honesty to the presence of the tower that blends well with the collaborative and community nature of I-CHANGE. Construction was completed in three weeks in January and February of 2021 with the guidance of Ballast Nedam, 4/15

Drawn by: ETG Sep 2020



Fig. 5: Tightening the steel straps on site with a simple hand tensioning tool. credits: Vincent Basler


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showcasing the simplicity and subsequent efficiency of both the tools and workflow derived from the circular technique. The concept was inspired by the 2017 Dutch Design Week People’s Pavilion by ARUP and Bureau SLA, which featured a similar strategy to create a shell structure. In this project, the concept is taken further and used to create floor levels and stairs, enabling the visitor to climb past the strapped-details and emerge above the structure for panoramic views. The tower stands out clearly from its surroundings, being the only completely timber building in the area. The timber used is the same grain, type and profile throughout the structure, a decision made to simplify and rationalise the construction process. A total of approximately 2,500m was used. By using 50x150 millimeter profile douglas pine, the tower could be built similarly to a factory process where timber lengths were measured and cut to the specifications

Fig. 6: bottom-up view: on the final deck of the complete tower


of an order sheet in advance, and stock piled on site for use during the build. The length of each component was written in wax on the end grain, doubling as a labelling system so each length of timber could be easily installed in the correct order. The architects chose to use untreated, unplaned wood due to its natural qualities of water content moderation and rough texture, meaning it is less likely to expand due to rainwater exposure and provides better grip under foot to ease accessibility when wet. The timber was supplied by Douglas Hout, and sourced from sustainable forestries in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany. The structure is divided in two halves both visually and spatially. One side features open elevations facing west, creating a tall timber gateway leading to the gardens of the restaurant. Looking up as they walk through, the visitor is greeted with an expansive void as the timber stretches

Academic Fig. 7: Close up view on the steel straps. credit: Vincent Basler

up above them, showcasing the impressive height of the tower. The other side of the tower is closed from the outside world and contains a staircase split into five runs. Landings along the climb offer window vantage points back inside the open space, whilst 50mm gaps between the horizontal timber wall elements offer slivers of views of the landscape beyond, teasing what’s to come at the summit. The rich colours and textures of the timber surround the visitor on all sides, creating a sheltered and warm environment. By contrast, at the observation deck, the user experiences the sudden openness and is rewarded with expansive views of Delft. As the foundation is a key detail to the stability of the

Fig. 8: Back view of the Tower just completed credit: Vincent Basler


77 | Wood! Fig. 9: man powered assembly process. credit: Vincent Basler


columns and horizontal beams, further simplifying the component list. The Nieuw Delft Observation Tower shows the potential of innovative new methods and hopes to inspire more sustainable thinking, design and construction across the built environment. It was made possible due to generous contributions and donations from Glass Swinging Structures Engineering, Ballast Nedam, StopDigging, Douglas-hout, FROMM Packaging solutions and I-CHANGE. Many thanks as well to the fantastic volunteer team, who endured the worst of Dutch winter weather to make this an incredible experience.


structure, it’s one of few locations where additional fastenings were required on top of the steel packaging straps. The foundation consists of large timber beams, made by strapping 12 pieces of the douglas pine together which are then clamped between steel plates that were laser cut locally. The top plate is then bolted via a 90 degree bracket to the tower columns at ground level. The bottom plate was designed to be fasted to steel 2.5 meter long screw-piles which transfer the loads into the ground. The screw piles were supplied and installed by Stop Digging. When the tower is disassembled, the piles can be returned to Stop Digging for use on other projects. Additional lateral stability was achieved in the above ground structure by employing longer steel straps to act as cross bracings between the

Ludvig Sundberg recently graduated from his master’s studies in Architecture at Lund University in Sweden. He did an Erasmus exchange year at TU Delft fall semester of 2019 and spring semester of 2020 where he and Edmund Thomas Green created the project together. He is the architect and project manager for the Nieuw Delft Observation Tower.

Edmund Thomas Green has recently graduated cum laude from his masters in Architecture at Delft University of Technology in the Architectural Engineering design studio. Both Sundberg and Thomas Green are now searching for challenging post-master roles within architectural practices to further their careers and education. He is the architect and project manager for the Nieuw Delft Observation Tower. Interested in hiring us? Please get in touch at and


Fig. 1: Hotel Jakarta (credit: Hoogenboom / Loo)


SeARCH Hotel Jakarta An interview by Eren Gozde Anil and Tim Schumann

Kathrin Hanf from SeARCH Architects shares with Rumoer her experience of building with wood, new developments in sustainable architecture and her design visions of Hotel Jakarta, a wooden highrise building in Amsterdam. This interview highlights the design process behind the project, advantages and disadvantages of designing with wood as well as some specifics about Hotel Jakarta.


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Rumoer: What are you SeARCHing for? Can you explain the vision of your office? Hanf: Our name “SeARCH” stands for “Stedenbouw en ARCHitectuur”, or urban planning and architecture in English. But that is not the only reason we chose this name, we are interested in searching. We are always looking to enhance the quality of the spaces we inhabit. This can

be done in a very literal way. Our project Villa Vals is an example of this enhancement. The building sits within the slope only a small circular incision gives away its hiding place. To enter you walk through the mountain and only once you are standing in the house are you confronted with the spectacular view of the Swiss Alps. Designing with a sensitivity to the surroundings can also be translated to an urban context. For example, for Hotel Jakarta, we looked at the whole urban plan. How it's built-up, the housing blocks alongside. We try to create a new exciting space that belongs next to its neighbours. And that’s kind of a thread, all through our work. It is very important to create or design the spaces in-between not just the building itself. In the Netherlands we are well aware of the scarcity of space, so we must make spaces that are generous and open to people. With every project, we try to go further than just the task we get. To search for that little bit extra. Rumoer: What phases of design are you involved in as an office?

Fig. 2: Hotel Jakarta Atrium (credit: Hoogenboom / Loo)


Hanf: We don’t accept ‘design-only’ commissions. This is a bit exceptional and does not make our lives easier, but we really believe in following the building through to execution to ensure the quality of the final result. Developers often prefer the architect to hand over to the contractor early in the process to save money, but we think to make a good building you need to translate the initial concept to a highly detailed developed design and then follow it to the building site to see how to optimize the design along the way. I often see that if the architect is not involved until the end, then the design in watered down and quality is lost. Plus, it is a lost opportunity because when we work in a building team the contractors are involved very early and there is a really productive dialogue between architect and builder. This way the design is influenced by how the builder works so you can reach a good price for the client and still keep the quality. I think this is the future way of working, to learn from the industry while you design.

Interview Fig. 2: Hotel Jakarta Atrium (credit: Hoogenboom / Loo)

Rumoer: When do you start thinking about sustainability and materials? Hanf: Day 1 (laughs). You must integrate sustainability into your design thinking from the very beginning. To achieve a truly sustainable building the volume and orientation of the building must be optimized. If these fundamentals aren’t

in the back of your head when you begin, you will have to overcompensate with expensive installation at a later stage. By using the right materials for the right use you can save an enormous amount of energy. Both concrete and timber have their advantages and disadvantages. But if you only design with one material you will limit the buildings performance and miss opportunities.


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Timber cannot span the same as concrete but by using cross-laminated timber (CLT) this can be greatly improved. Although there is still some reluctance in the construction industry and developers don’t want any extra risk, we see more private people who are more open to take this step and build with timber. Rumoer: Do you think timber will replace concrete in the future? Hanf: No not fully, concrete is a great material. But when you consider the impact it has on the environment, it is important that we minimise the amount of concrete we use in construction. We use timber whenever we get the opportunity, but often we incorporate traditional materials like steel and concrete where necessary. For example, while the main structure of Hotel Jakarta is made of timber, the garage is made of concrete so that it could be built in the water. Rumoer: Since you have projects in different locations in the world? How does this impact your material choices? Hanf: Quite a bit. We try to incorporate local building techniques to make the most of local expertise. Sometimes this means you are not free to use new materials you are familiar with abroad, but other times is leads to a wonderful exchange between two contexts. For example, when we designed the Dutch embassy in Ethiopia we were inspired by the red earthen churches of Lalibela. We used the same pigment in the concrete and the local workers really knew how to handle it to achieve a high-quality result. Instead of using large panels to cast the concrete (as we do in Europe), we worked with the locals to source readily available timber logs to build the formwork. This resulted in the timber texture and patterns in the concrete façade. Rumoer: Can you tell us about Hotel Jakarta Project a bit? What were your initial goals and ambitions with this project?


Fig. 3: Hotel Jakarta Facade (credit: Hoogenboom / Loo)

Hanf: It started with a tender from the municipality of Amsterdam to develop a hotel on a prominent point of Java Island. We partnered with hotelier Westcord, who had built the Hotel New York in Rotterdam, which is also on a headland. Hotel Jakarta is located on the site where ships once travelled to Indonesia and we wanted to celebrate

plants and connect East and West in a highly sustainable way. Rumoer: The structure is certified timber. What were the challenges you faced during the design? What do you consider the advantages and disadvantages of this material?


this history. Amsterdam already has plenty of hotels, but luckily the municipality had big ambitions. They wanted a fullyintegrated concept: urban planning, architecture, spatial quality, sustainability, marketing – a building that should add value to the city. And for us, those points all came together in this idea of making a timber hotel with a large internal garden. As this would be a covered garden, we could create a subtropical ecosystem to grow subtropical

Hanf: We had previously built many timber buildings but not a hotel at this scale. We encountered many new aspects as we were developing a new modular building system. All the hotel rooms were prefabricated off-site and transported to the location. One advantage was that there was less disruption for the neighbours (residential dwellings, schools) during construction. If you decide to build with timber, you must consider fire safety and acoustics. We had to create a simulation to check how the hotel would respond to fire and smoke. It wasn’t actually the timber modules that were the issue, but because of the scale of the atrium we needed an installation that could suck the air out from above. We had to make enough openings in the facade so enough air could come in quickly, so you don’t get a vacuum effect. Also, usually you need to add material thickness to the timber elements so the building can withstand a fire. Basically, the outer layer can burn away without compromising the structural capability of the timber. But because the client wanted sprinklers in every hotel room, and in the atrium, we did not have to over dimension the walls.

Fig. 4: Hotel Jakarta Facade (credit: Hoogenboom / Loo)

Another aspect is acoustics. Minimizing the amount of noise travelling between rooms is an important factor in a hotel. In the end, our module was built with a concrete floor, not for acoustics, but because the floors would be thicker with timber than with concrete. A concrete floor was the most sensible option as it also improved the acoustics and made floor heating easier. Horizontally, the acoustics was solved with detached modules with double skins. Each room has


77 | Wood! Fig. 5: Hotel Jakarta Atrium (credit: Hoogenboom / Loo)


Rumoer: Does building with modules provide future flexibility? Can it be disassembled? Hanf: Yes, the modules can be disassembled and built up somewhere else. The only limitation with these modules is that they are small. They work really well for student housing, hotels and other small dwellings. But for housing, we have developed another module which you can combine in pairs and also another module for schools where you can combine many side-by-side to make a large space. Rumoer: Hotel Jakarta has a BREEAM excellent certification. Was it a hard requirement given by the client? If so, what kind of early decisions did you need to take for the certification? Hanf: The Municipality of Amsterdam really valued sustainability and we would not have won the tender if we did not design a VERY sustainable building. So, we really went for it and designed an energy-neutral building. This was quite a challenge as the building is triangular and has a lot of facade compared to the space within. But we solved this by combining many strategies like triple glazing and a double-skin facade with balconies. The balconies serve as shading in the summer and offer sound and wind protection for the rooms. The atrium is used as a thermal buffer. In summer all the windows on the roof open, so it is like a chimney taking the warm air out. This works well for the garden too. The rainwater is collected and stored in a tank to water the plants and this also helps to cool down the interior. We could have achieved higher points if we used the rainwater for flushing the toilets, but this is not sensible as the plants were thirsty We were really lucky with our client because they dared to build with a system that does not exist in the Netherlands and push for all these

sustainability measures. They did so not only for the sake of achieving a higher BREEAM score (which they could advertise) but also for the sake of creating a really great building.


double acoustic protection in the floor and ceiling as well as double walls between neighbouring rooms. For a hotel, building in modules is ideal.

Rumoer: BREEAM requirements are quite hard and extensive including rainwater harvesting, daylight, material choices … Hanf: BREEAM has many beneficial aspects. Before BREEAM there was a different tool used by municipalities to calculate the sustainability of buildings. This was great for that time and an important step, but it did not cover the whole range of aspects needed to achieve a sustainable building. BREEAM goes much further. An independent person evaluates what you are doing and looks at what else you could do. I must say satisfying all these sustainability requirements does not make our job easier, but it is incredibly important and interesting. The certification process and all of the administration that goes around it has a lot of impact on the design process, which many people aren’t aware of yet. Rumoer: Since you are the architect, what is your favourite aspect or part of the Hotel Jakarta? Hanf: I love the atrium because it brings everything all together. The plinth is flooded with natural light and open to the public, even children from the nearby school come there after school, they grab a bite from the bakery and walk through the garden or sit there together doing their homework. On the other side, you see the hotel guests arriving, dining, or going to the swimming pool. All these different people meet and mix in the atrium and garden. When you come from outside and enter the building you see the green warm atrium with light coming from above immediately. A small tropical paradise in the middle of Amsterdam.


Graduate Infographic of thesis



Sustainable timber structures Willem Wouter van Wijnen, TU Delft

Developing more housing while having lower emissions. Currently, this is a major challenge for the built environment in the Netherlands. To meet the climate goals as agreed upon with the United Nations, the Dutch government reached a climate agreement in which is stated that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions should be reduced to 49% in 2030 and 95% in 2050 [1]. The most used structural materials for buildings, concrete and steel, have a significant contribution of 15% to global human-induced CO2 emissions [2]. Therefore, alternative solutions should be considered to construct more sustainable structures. Timber could be one of them.

This thesis focused on the sustainability of timber load bearing structures on three scales: the macro-, meso- and micro-scale. The macro-scale represents the global forestry level in which the carbon cycle, carbon sequestration (i.e. capture and storage) and forest certification are discussed; the meso-scale represents the building level in which the durability and cascading strategies (i.e. strategies to elongate the lifespan) are discussed; the micro-scale represent the environmental impact of the material itself. To analyse this, life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to compare the environmental footprint of a concrete benchmark and timber alternative.


as non-renewable, whereas biogenic based resources are classified as renewable. In recent years, combustion of fossil fuels increased the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere on top of the natural flux within the system [5]. These additional anthropogenic emissions will be part of the biogenic carbon cycle for the foreseeable future.

Two types of carbon can be identified in the cycle: fossil and biogenic carbon. The former is originated from decomposed material in the geosphere, the latter from biomass in the biosphere [3]. A clear distinction can be made between fossil and biogenic carbon based on the duration they are stored. Formation of fossil carbon takes millions of years opposed to 1 – 10000 years for biogenic carbon [4]. Therefore, fossil-based resources are classified

Forests are a natural carbon storage within the much shorter biogenic carbon cycle. The CO2 will re-enter the atmosphere at the end of life gradually through natural deterioration or directly when burned. When opted for burning wood at the end-of-life stage, it is a sustainable alternative for fossil fuel-based energy production, since no additional fossil carbon is released from the geosphere.


Timber as a renewable resource, the macro-scale Carbon is an essential element for all organisms. On earth, this element is stored and exchanged between the geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere, see Figure 1. This process is known as the carbon cycle and contains greenhouse gases when released to the atmosphere.

Figure 1: Carbon cycle


Graduate (A) Meso-scale

(B) Macro-scale

Figure 2: Carbon sequestration

Carbon sequestration is the process of capture and storage of CO2 in natural or artificial carbon sinks, effectively lowering the concentration CO2 in the atmosphere. Forests, and therefore wood and wood-based products, are an example of natural carbon sequestration. Besides the sequestered carbon in forests, the building sector can increase the total capacity of carbon storage when constructing timber structures, see Figure 2. A requisite for the increase in sequestered carbon is the use of timber from sustainable forestry. Global increase of carbon sstorage in the built environment is exclusively realised by additional timber structures above the already existing ones [6]. Hence, the large potential by increasing the timber market share since steel and concrete dominate the building sector. The carbon sequestration strategy in timber buildings is a short-term solution, converging to the point where timber buildings are replaced by timber buildings, resulting in no additional carbon sequestration besides the fraction of timber buildings in the yearly net increase of housing stock.

Forest growth, together with the tree harvesting rate, dictates the sustainability of forestry. The carbon sequestration rate of forests is proportional to the growth rate [7], leading to a saturation stage where no additional carbon sequestration occurs. Therefore, forest preservation is less efficient to act as carbon sink than managed forests used for production of durable timber. This strategy is sustainable when the carbon in the timber products is stored for at least the same time it takes to sequester the same amount of carbon in the forests. Certified wood from forest certification programs ensures that it originated from sustainably managed forests. The two largest organisation who certify sustainable forestry are the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). These organisations guarantee that the harvesting rate of forests does not exceed levels which can be sustained permanently.


Case study: concrete vs timber load bearing structure Based on the studied EPD data, which have been validated for comparability, a timber alternative is compared to a concrete benchmark. Most engineered timber products are


Timber as sustainable construction material, the micro scale To study the environmental impact of the material itself, environmental product declarations (EPDs) are analysed in the thesis which form the input data of LCA. In the Netherlands, this data is applied to determine the ‘Milieuprestatie gebouw’ (MPG) score, which is prescribed by the government to be determined for all new buildings. This method is based on the European standards, though with four additional prescribed environmental impact categories. This causes problems for engineered timber products specifically since the Netherlands has a limited forestry industry. These products are therefore primarily imported from abroad. Foreign manufacturers quantify the environmental impact according to the European standard and cannot be directly implemented in the Dutch method. This limits the availability of reliable and up to date timber data sources which can be used in the MPG method. Figure 3 shows the global warming potential (GWP) of various engineered timber products, compared to reinforced concrete. GWP quantifies the effects of anthropogenic (human-induced) greenhouse gases. Therefore, the effect of natural carbon sequestration in biobased products is not included in LCA. Nevertheless, the environmental footprint of manufacturing a cubic meter of timber is lower than the equivalent amount of concrete, even without the effect of carbon sequestration. It should be noted that these types of comparison are limited in showing the true sustainability on the building level. Since not the same quantity of materials are used when constructing the same building with a different material. That is the reason steel is excluded in this chart because it simply would not fit the scale. Though, an equivalent steel building would require significant less cubic meters material compared to timber and concrete.

Figure 3: Global warming potential comparison of timber and concrete manufacturing (excluding carbon sequestration)

not manufactured in the Netherlands contrary to concrete. Therefore, the environmental burden of the transport leads to a much larger contribution for engineered timber products. Even with the additional transport and the need for additional fire safety measures to fulfil the same requirements as the concrete benchmark, the timber building performs better regarding sustainability, as shown in figure 4. Again, this is without the effect of carbon sequestration. From the data analysis in the thesis, it was found that the selection of timber environmental data sources is highly sensitive. Choosing the European EPDs leads to a 55% shadow price reduction compared to the available data in the ‘Nationale milieu database’ (NMD) for the MPG method. Therefore, a thorough review is required when selecting data sources to identify their underlying assumptions, validity, and comparability. For the case study in the thesis, it was found that by changing to Dutch data sources, the timber alternative would perform worse for the environmental impact than the concrete benchmark. Especially the fact that the government prescribes to use the NMD to determine the MPG score, usually results in worse outcomes for timber structures than should be the case to the point that concrete buildings receive better sustainability scores.


Graduate Figure 4: Environmental impact comparison case study

Estimation of theoretical global warming reduction potential As stated before, the effect of carbon sequestration is not included in the results of LCA. An estimation of the theoretical global warming reduction potential is given when timber is used instead of concrete for the load bearing structure. This theoretical value is by no means an exact representation of the potential but gives an order of magnitude of the potential based on the results of the case study. For the used assumptions and statistics see the thesis. The annual reduction potential by timber housing equals 12 and 6% of the national annual GWP emissions of the whole building sector for respectively the time till timber market saturation and the years after when timber buildings will replace timber buildings and the gains are solely caused by the net increase of housing stock. Currently, the bottleneck to reach the maximum global warming reduction potential is not the availability of sustainable wood, but the production capacity of engineered timber as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5: largest CLT manufacturers from the EPD study

Overview The infographic in shows how the individual parts of the research are related to each other; a simplified representation of LCA; and the main differences between the Dutch and European LCA methodologies.


Sources 1. Klimaatakkoord. 2019, Rijksoverheid: Den Haag, the Netherlands. 2. B.J. van Ruijven, et al., Long-term model-based projections of energy use and CO2 emissions from the global steel and cement industries. Resources, Conservation & Recycling, 2016. 112: p. 15-36, DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2016.04.016.

3. European Committee for Standardization, Greenhouse gases - Carbon footprint of products - Requirements and guidelines for quantification ISO 14067:2018. 2018, Koninklijk Nederlands Normalisatie Instituut: Delft, the Netherlands. 4. P. Ciais and C. Sabine, Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles. Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, 2013: p. 465-570, DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781107415324.015. 5. H. Riebeek, The Carbon Cycle. 2011 [cited: 17-220]; Available from: features/CarbonCycle. 6. Vogtländer, J.G., A practical guide to LCA. Sustainable Design Series of the Delft University of Technology. 2010, Delft, the Netherlands: VSSD, ISBN: 978-90-6562-267-9 7. Kyrklund, B., The potential of forests and forest industry in reducing excess atmospheric carbon dioxide. An international journal of forest and forest industries, 1990. 41.


Looking ahead As of lately, a discussion about the exclusion of carbon sequestration in the MPG method is held by the sector and the government to improve the results of the method. TNO researched the potential effects and the aim is to implement carbon sequestration in the coming future. Until that time, it is up to us, architects and engineers, to know the sustainability potential of timber buildings and inform our clients even though results of the MPG method do not show it yet.

Willem Wouter van Wijnen Bachelor – Civil Engineering Master – Building Engineering After graduating in October 2020 for the master Building Engineering at the TU Delft, Wouter started working as a structural engineer at van Rossum. But it was during his studies that he found the passion for sustainability in the build environment. Specifically the sustainability of load bearing structures in the form of circularity, adaptability and durability. His Bachelor thesis about the sustainability of steel, timber and fibre reinforced plastics, using life cycle assessment revealed the need to look more into detail in timber specifically since results from the Dutch MPG methodology were unsatisfactory. This lead to the topic of this Master’s thesis which he researched at design and consultancy firm Arcadis.





Vakwerk builds in wood: The Vakwerkhuis & De Klepperstee Vakwerk architecten

Vakwerk architecten had a simple dream, converting the former Ketelhuis, an old monument, into a co-working hub that could serve the city and the neighbourhood at different levels. A home for their office and other local entrepreneurs and a place that would be a source of energy and inspiration. The fundamentally different working method of Vakwerk architecten also proves that this can be done sustainably and with a great deal of circular construction.

Figure 1: cafe counter in main hall


77 | Wood! Fig. 2: Timber portals added for extension

The former turbine hall has been renamed as the Vakwerkhuis (dutch for a half-timbered house, a play on the architect’s name) and is now an innovative place to work together, a real ‘co-working space 2.0’. More than 100 workspaces are combined with 8 unique meeting rooms for use by the ‘residents’ and (frequent) visitors. You enter the building through the informal café, which is open to both guests and residents and connected to a big outdoor garden. During the day, the Vakwerkhuis is mainly used by companies. In the evenings and weekends, the building Vakwerkhuisinto a venue for debates, parties, courses, or transforms Begane grond music and yoga classes. The 100-year-old monument consists of multiple halls, which were once home to large machines and industrial boilers, as well as the iconic high chimney. Together the volumes create a functional yet unmistakably charming industrial complex. Carefully designed interventions 0







20 m


20 m

amplify the unique characteristics of each part of the building. All additions can be divided into three main themes, each with their fitting details: A series of new expressive openings visually connect old and new parts and enlarge the transparency of the building; The interior is enriched with fixed elements, executed in industrial red steel and glass or clad in lively solid oak wood to contrast the materials already present; And the addition of the fully glazed entrance and new wooden extension and light concept visually marks this new era for the complex; the Ketelhuis is once again a vital part of the community and is here to stay! Where old and new come together, glass plays a big role in the balance between connecting and disconnecting the two worlds, like at new glass entrance or the wooden extension above the Accuhal. The new volume appears to float above the existing brick due to the horizontal glass strip connecting both. The design of the extension owes its particular shape to the use of wooden rounded trusses acquired from an old hangar. An example of the creative and circular mindset that characterised the design and execution of the building. Transparency is increased throughout, in order to create an internal coherence and open the building to its surroundings. New glazed openings increase visibility and introduce long sightlines that connect the five buildings that once formed the old Ketelhuis into one whole. Inside the building, two new volumes are introduced in the café and the main hall; both free-standing and clad in

Vakwerkhuis Begane grond 0







fig. 3: plan of the ground floor

Company Fig. 4: Timber spiral staircase

wood, in respect to the impressive monumental architecture and coherence with the existing materials. The bar volume, positioned along the central axis of the café, is visible from the street inviting and guiding visitors into the building. Adjacent to the bar, a spiral staircase constructed from oak slices strung on a vertical pivot, which once served as a horse jumping pole, brings you up to the first floor.

In the main hall, the Arendsnest’ (or eagle nest) sits in the centre of the space. This wooden volume partly sunken into the ground, was designed to offer a variety of break-out and working spaces, whilst enhancing the qualities of the original industrial hall. Considering its age, the building had already proven itself


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as a sustainable element, yet there was still a lot to improve. Vakwerk architecten has continuously followed a design mindset that focused on functionally being defined by the form and size of each space. They focussed on finding the balance between necessary adjustments and keeping the existing architecture, using the quality that was already there. With a few clear interventions, such as new concrete floors with a heating and cooling system sourced from heat pumps, renewing all the wood window frames with double glazing and insulating the iconic roof structures, the climate of the building was lifted to today’s standards. Resulting in an all-electric monument! The execution of the design was driven by circularity; using as much as possible materials and objects that were already present in the building, or other existing buildings, like the wooden trusses from the new extension. The herringbone floors, beams, oak finishes and furniture also come from leftover discarded lots. All circular and biobased ingredients for a sustainable design.

Fig. 6: Longitudinal cross section


Fig: 5: Visual comunication between spaces

Year: 2017- 2020 Location: Delft, NL Client: Vakwerk Vastgoed Size: 1350 m2 Programme: Co-working and Café Architect: Vakwerk architecten b.v. Interior architect: Vakwerk architecten b.v. Team Vakwerk: Paul Ketelaars, Ellen van der Wal,

Francesco Veenstra, Rikkert van Bellen, Marloes Pieper, Tim van Beurden, Peter Batenburg, Joost Pauwelussen, Begoña Garcia Giner, Anouk Bras, Mar Muñoz Aparici, en alle Vakwerkers Contractors: Schoop Elektrotechniek, VDstel gevelwerken, van Iersel Installatiebedrijf, Pools aannemersbedrijf, Hermeta geveltechniek, de Graaf klimaattechniek Constructor: Strijbos constructies Advisors: Coup Group, RAB


Project info & team credits

Paul grew up and was trained within Mecanoo architecten in Delft. Immediately after graduating with honors in architecture and building technology, he started working at Mecanoo architects in 2002. In 2010 Paul joins Mecanoo as a partner. In terms of content, he has made a major contribution to the vision in the field of the “learning environment” and related assignments. He led a collaboration with Gispen from which the HUBB arose: a furnishing concept for education which was awarded the Red Dot Award 2017. In the summer of 21017, Paul founded the new architectural firm Vakwerk together with ex-Mecanoo partners Francesco Veenstra and Ellen van der Wal.

Before he started at Vakwerk architects, Rikkert Van Bellen worked at various large architectural firms on a diversity of architectural assignments with different scales and users in The Netherlands and abroad. His broad interests range from sketch design to construction, with the challenges each phase present to their succcesfull completion. Within projects he is responsible for the integration and coordination of various disciplines in the design, always with the aim of jointly achieving the best result for future users. Rikkert has extensive experience with BIM and circular construction and sees significant added value in the design and realization of buildings.


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De Klepperstee Located in Ouddorp, de Klepperstee is a family-run holiday park that exists for over 50 years. Adapting to new times, they decided to make a shift towards a sustainable future in which nature is given a central place in the concept of the holiday park. With a new open landscape plan designed by ‘Inside Outside’ as a base, Vakwerk was asked to design a new central building and a series of cabin concepts, which would gradually replace the existing cabins, re-connecting nature.

Fig. 7: Entrance


The Central Building is formed by an ensemble of three buildings and the outdoor spaces around them. Located close to the entrance, the ensemble of buildings act as reference point and welcome guests into their holiday experience. The three buildings house the reception and staff office spaces, an indoor playground for children and a caférestaurant, with direct connection to a sun-oriented terrace, a natural swimming pond and outdoor play area. In a concept where indoor and outdoor spaces are equally important, the boundaries between them become key.


For this reason, buildings are positioned to favour certain orientations and create a strong inside-outside connection. A very important theme in the new development. The glazed fronts provide wide views outside and merge the inside spaces with the outdoor terraces and green esplanade around them. Inspired by the simplicity of greenhouse constructions, we chose for an archetypal house-shaped building that give way to the activities that take place in them; A place to explore, play, celebrate and make guests feel at home. A sequence of wooden trusses offer a functional and versatile solution to the use of the space, as well as providing support for the facade and roof system. A simple and integral construction solution, with glass and wood as main materials, act as an interior finish, sun protection and identity carrier for ‘De Klepperstee’ warm character and relaxed identity. De Klepperstee is a sustainable project in many ways. In its use, energy solutions, materials and construction principles. Before thinking about the energy concept, we first thought of the use and how this could reduce energy.

Fig. 8: structural wooden trusses

With sunny weather, the building can completely open up and most activities happen outside. During spring and fall the building is warmed up by the huge glass roof. In the wintertime the basic wood stove gives direct warmth. Concrete core activation combined with a heat pump offers continuous comfort. The wood constructions and façade panels are purely circular and dismountable. Nature and connection among people are the two main

Fig. 9: Massing plan, building and its context


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themes here, often combined into one, such as the natural swimming pond and indoor nature area for kids to play on rainy days. These themes are also leading in the architecture, on various levels; the internal connection between the different zones, the bio-based materials and the open connection between inside and outside.

Fig.10: Connection between outside and indise


Location: Ouddorp, NL Client: Vakantiepark de Klepperstee Year: 2017-2019 Status: completed Programme: prototypes cabins en een centrumgebouw Size: 800 m2 Team Vakwerk: Francesco, Paul, Begona, Lara, Maria, Sara, Tim In collaboration with: Strijbos constructies, Peter Spee vastgoedbeheer, Inside Outside


Project info & team credits

Fig. 11: Transition from glass to wood roof

Francesco Veenstra grew up and was trained within Mecanoo architects in Delft. After an internship in 1994, he worked as a designer from mid-1995 and later as an architect and partner within the office. During the 22 years at Mecanoo he fulfilled all roles that are conceivable within a large, renowned internationally operating company. In addition to his work in Delft, since 2008 Francesco has led a large number of projects in England, and in 2012 established a local branch of the agency in Manchester. In the summer of 21017, Francesco founded the new architectural firm Vakwerk together with ex-Mecanoo partners Paul Ketelaars and Ellen van der Wal. Francesco has been a partner at Vakwerk since 2017. In addition, Francesco will hold the position of chairman at the BNA from July 2019.

Begoña Giner started her carreer in 2011 within Mecanoo architects in Delft, and since then has worked in multiple projects in the Netherlands and abroad, ranging from cultural and educational buildings to office and lab environments. After 6 years in Mecanoo, she joint the team of Vakwerk architecten in 2017. Begoña is analytical and has a strong conceptual focus, with experience in phases from sketch design to construction, she has attention for both exterior and interior. She is proficient in BIM and has worked extensively on complex projects involving different functions and users.


77 | Wood!



Shreyas studied a Bachelors of Architecture in India and has focused his studies in Structure Design, Design Informatics, as well as Global Housing Studies. He enjoys doing hands-on work such as working for the TU Delft, Team SUM and is part of the Architecture Honours Programme Masters. Shreyas is also an avid cricket, volleyball, and badminton player. As Education Chair, Shreyas looks forward to being the voice of the students as well as having the opportunity to work closely with faculty members.

Coming from a background that had nothing to do with architecture, making the decision to pursue it wasn’t easy. However, her interest in practical subjects, exact sciences, human relationship, art and mainly her curiosity of the harmonization of the built man-made environment with the natural one led her to study Architecture Engineering and receive her Architecture Diploma from the University of Thessaly, in Greece. As Study Trip Chair, she enjoys interacting with other students and professionals and her main goal is to show them how traveling and exploring opens doors to timeless architecture.





Jun studied his Bachelors of Architecture and Sustainable Design at Singapore University of Technology and Design. He is an avid global traveller and enjoys discovering new places and meeting new people. On his trip to Mt. Fuji, Japan, he asked someone to take his picture at the peak but instead only got a selfie of this person. Jun looks forward to organizing fun and enriching activities like the Debut event in September, and to meet more people.

From the suburbs of Minnesota in the United States, Sarah received her Bachelors of Civil Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. She is a quarter Dutch, hence the very Dutch last name, and half Japanese. While studying in the Netherlands she has met distant relatives for the first time and has learned more about her Dutch heritage. As the chairperson of the board, she wants to continue collaborating with fellow students and to be more involved on campus. She is excited to work with this team of many different backgrounds.

A(BouT) 27th Board by Sarah Hoogenboom - Chairperson 2020-2021





From Turkey, Eren studied her Bachelors of Architecture at Bilkent University. Eren is excited to be part of the board to help facilitate the connection between students, young professionals, and offices part of the Building Technology community. To her, BouT is more than an organization that hosts events but also there to help with career goals and hopefully inspire all of us, like through the Rumoer periodical! If you are looking for Eren on campus, she’s probably next to the coffee machine.

As our only Dutch board member, Nadine studied her Bachelors of Architecture at TU Delft and knows all the good hiding spots at faculty. She is excited to organize events, like the spring symposium, that are interesting and fun with an enthusiastic team of colleagues for BT Master’s students. Open-minded to new ideas and events, Nadine is there to brainstorm new ways to create a Building Technology community. On a stormy day, you may find Nadine enjoying the beach or reading one of the books on her Goodreads list.






SECRETARY & PUBLIC RELATIONS After studying his Bachelors of Architecture in Mumbai India, Anurag also worked prior to starting his Masters at TU Delft. He has continued to work his own architecture practice while in school but says that if he were forced to leave an architecture career, he would be a singer. Anurag is looking forward to interacting with a larger audience in BT on a professional level and to upgrade both the BouT website and to increase our social media presence.

BouT Board 27

2021-22 BouT is pleased to announce our new 2021-2022 Board. As we have all transitioned to online academics and activities in the past year, we are again in a transition period of adapting to new normal’s and embracing every moment we see our peers in person. This year our goal is adaptability.

We have already started planning an exciting welcome for the Building Technology first year Masters, Debut Event in September focused on energy transitions in the built environment, lunch lectures, and many more events! We look forward to an exciting year to get to know our sponsors and colleagues better, and to get started here is a bit about us!


77. Wood!

BOUT CONNECTS! Gold Sponsors:

Silver Sponsors:

Bronze Sponsors:

4th Quarter 2021

Bronze Sponsors:

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Rumoer 77 Wood!  

Rumoer 77 Wood!  

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