Multi-company collaboration enables new low carbon building frame designs
To choose construction materials for a new building, property developers, builders, owners, investors and users need comprehensive information: examples of building solutions and information on their emission impact. The decision on a main construction material is made very early in a building's design process. This collaboration between NCC Finland, Stora Enso and Ramboll sheds light especially on choosing massive wood as the main frame material of a building project. Increasing the utilization of wood is one effective measure to considerably reduce the fossil carbon emissions of new buildings.
In this collaboration, we co-created and examined solutions for low carbon buildings, especially by studying different wood-based structural systems and construction methods. In addition, the goal was to increase the level of industrialization to a maximum, considering current practices and limitations.
The building-type specific case studies were conducted for the office and residential building types.
Office building case study
The aim was to study material-related low carbon possibilities and solutions by reproducing a concrete office project with a massive wood and low carbon concrete frame.
In this study we introduced a new type of an office building frame. The main structure of the office space was made of massive wood slabs, columns and beams. The strengthening core in the middle of the building with elevators, stairs and rest rooms is made of low carbon concrete. For the wooden office space, we found a grid of columns that suits well for a massive wood structure and simultaneously fulfills the needs of office use.
Studying alternative frame options enabled us to look at ways to reach efficient low carbon options. This solution co-developed between NCC, Stora Enso and Ramboll brings property investors and owners the option to choose a new alternative low carbon frame structure.
Read more about the emission reduction potential of the office building solution here.
Residential building case study
The aim was to study material-related low carbon possibilities and solutions by reproducing a typical concrete residential project with a massive wood frame.
Two approaches were considered in the residential building case study:
A conversion design: A direct conversion of the frame where concrete is substituted with CLT-elements
A wood-optimized design: A combination of different wood-based methods and technologies to maximize the level of industrialization to create an end result similar to the original, while acknowledging the initial preconditions of massive wood design.
The end result of the wood-optimized design was a frame type with wooden load-bearing walls, wood columns and beams, and efficient floor slabs from CLT. Non-load bearing exterior walls were designed to increase flexibility in design and on-site installation procedures. The system utilized spans which were efficient for wood, without compromising the architecture. Additionally, the complexity of the frame, and number of different components were carefully balanced in the process.
Co-developing these approaches together between NCC, Stora Enso and Ramboll enables comparing options for a new alternative low carbon frame structure for a residential building.
Read more about the emission reduction potential of the residential building solution here.
Conclusions from the case studies
Conversions of building structures can give a quick estimate of the carbon footprint of a building. Nevertheless, a conversion doesn’t represent the final optimized solution, but can give a direction for designing a low carbon building.
A cost-efficient, buildable and carbon footprint optimized solution was found by comparing different types of massive wood structures.
A massive wood building project has an intensive design process in the beginning, but the chosen material can save time later on site.
It is beneficial to optimize the layout of the building for massive wood spans.
A massive wood building project requires intensive collaboration between parties throughout the process.
Get in touch with the collaboration project companies to find out how we could future proof your next construction project!
Read more about the CLT here.