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Building with Environmentally Sustainable Structural Timber (BEST)
Start date: 01 Feb 2009, End date: 31 Jan 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"This IRSES staff exchange will provide a technological leap for sustainable timber construction. The research collaboration will develop an entirely new system of timber buildings, from single storey up to 6 storeys or more, to support the growing international interest in timber as a sustainable, low energy and high carbon building material. The high strength, low mass, and design flexibility of engineered wood (glue-laminated-timber and laminated-veneer-lumber) has greatly improved the viability of structural timber for low-rise multi-storey buildings. This exchange will allow world-class innovative structural timber design methods in New Zealand to be enhanced by European experts, and brought into EU countries for widespread use. The new design methods for prestressed timber will allow rapid construction in a modular system that is easy to construct, and later disassemble and reuse. This new system creates enormous potential for increased use of structural timber in residential and commercial buildings, even in high seismicity areas. Increased use of wood will also provide sustainability benefits including reduced fossil fuel consumption, less embodied energy, and reduced CO2 emissions over the full life of the buildings. The Universities in the IRSES-proposal are among the best timber research universities in Italy, Germany and New Zealand. They bring world-class international expertise in the design and construction of timber and composite structures, earthquake engineering, fire safety, long-term structural behaviour and sustainable buildings. Funding of this proposal will support the construction of new world-class large-span modular systems of open-plan timber buildings in local communities throughout Europe, especially suitable for the new economies of South-Eastern Europe where there are high earthquake hazards. The research will allow many European countries to utilise their renewable forest resources with new industries for constructing timber buildings."
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