Here’s a recipe for good design: take London-based architect David Adjaye, mix with a prefab timber construction system, drop on a site in the middle of Hackney, a London suburb, shake and mix – and you get a stunning solid timber residence for our Prefab Friday series. Adjaye recently designed this 150 sq. meter abode using Eurban’s solid spruce timber building structures as its main structural component (Eurban claims that each cubic meter of timber saves almost a ton of carbon dioxide emissions compared with a brick or block structure). The actual build time for the structure of the house totaled a mere five days.
Solid timber building structures have some interesting benefits to them. The first one is, obviously, the fact that it is very easy and quick to build with, designed to improve thermal and acoustic performance and reduce the building’s carbon footprint, and factory-manufactured to order, which means that there is significantly less waste on site. It can also be easily recycled and reused. Timber, if properly managed, is a renewable resource and fairly low-energy in its manufacturing compared to steel or concrete. There is one problem – and that is that Metsäliitto Timbers, the providers of the timber, sources only 70% of their wood from FSC or PEFC certified forests. By comparison, 70% is not bad, and higher than that of the industry standard, but it would be much better if that figure was the full 100%, and they seem to be moving towards that goal. I’d also prefer it if it was all FSC certified because I tend to trust their certification process more, but that’s just me.
David Adjaye was recently nominated for the Stirling Prize for his Whitechapel Idea Store in London, and is just as well known for his role as a BBC co-presenter and host of the six part series on modern architecture called Dreamspaces.