Tulipwood CLT proves a couple of points

The world’s first building made from hardwood cross-laminated American Tulipwood opens in Oldham, UK

Wood has more health and wellbeing benefits than any other building material, according to Wood Housing Humanity Report, 2015.

Maggie’s Oldham, the world’s first building made from hardwood cross-laminated timber (CLT), was opened late in 2017 in the UK. Designed by dRMM Architects and supported by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the opening is a pivotal moment for modern architecture and construction.

Maggie’s is a charity that provides practical and emotional support to people living with cancer. Built on the grounds of specialist NHS cancer hospitals, Maggie’s Centres are warm and welcoming places with qualified professionals on hand to offer a programme of support shown to improve physical and emotional wellbeing.

dRMM chose tulipwood for the design of Maggie’s Oldham for the positive influence wood has on people and for the beauty, strength and warmth inherent to American Tulipwood.

Wood is known to significantly reduce blood pressure, heart rates and recovery times; it has more health and wellbeing benefits than any other building material, according to Wood Housing Humanity Report 2015.

According to dRMM, this pioneering piece of permanent architecture has been constructed from more than 20 panels of five-layer CLT from American Tulipwood, ranging in size from 0.5-12 metres long.

American Tulipwood is approximately 70% stronger in bending than a typical CLT grade softwood. The structural CLT panels for Maggie’s Oldham were developed by CLT specialists, Zublin Timber.

Maggie’s Oldham contains 27.6 cubic metres of American Tulipwood and 1.1 cubic metres of American Ash, which comes from around 115.7 cubic metres of logs – and all these logs will be replaced in just 120 seconds (108 seconds for Tulipwood and 12 seconds for Ash).

According to AHEC, Maggie’s Oldham structure proves that hardwoods have a role to play in the timber construction revolution. Previous AHEC projects – Timber Wave, Out of the Woods, Endless Stair and The Wish List – have all been significant projects; but this centre proves that a building made of Tulipwood CLT is possible, and that it can be done on a strict budget and in record time.

“For AHEC, Maggie’s Oldham is one of the most important developments in a decade of research and development into structural timber innovation and one that could broaden the use of CLT in the construction industry. The creation of this product and significant use of hardwood will transform the way architects and engineers approach timber construction,” said Mr. Roderick Wiles, AHEC Director for Africa, West and South Asia and Oceania.

Tulipwood is the fourth-most abundant timber in US hardwood forests, representing 7% of the total growth, only exceeded by American red Oak (18%), white Oak (15%) and soft maple (11%).

AHEC is the leading international trade association for the US hardwood industry, representing all major US hardwood production trade associations. It runs a worldwide programme to promote American hardwoods in over 50 export markets, concentrating on providing architects, specifiers, designers and end-users with technical information on the range of species. More at www.americanhardwood.org.

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