From Curbed’s article, “Proposed 80-story wooden skyscraper may be a preview of tall timber future”: “In a city lined with pathbreaking towers and skyscrapers, the River Beech project, if it comes to fruition, may earn its own chapter in the history of Chicago architectural marvels. That’s because this proposed 80-story tower, a joint research project between Cambridge... Read more »
What kind of impacts do the materials we put into our built environments have on us? Every day, we’re discovering new answers to this question. The fact is, all across their lifecycles, the products used to build, furnish, decorate, and even clean our spaces have ripple effects on our health, wellbeing, and environmental footprint. The more informed we can be about the materials we’re using, the better—and safer—our built environments will be.
To learn more about how mass-timber construction will scale up, as well as to define what’s currently included in the purview of mass-timber construction for low-, mid- and high-rise projects, Construction Dive spoke with Andrew Tsay Jacobs, director of the Building Technology Lab at Perkins+Will and a member of the International Code Council’s Ad Hoc Committee on Tall... Read more »
Andrew Tsay Jacobs is a committee member of the International Code Council’s Ad Hoc Committee on Tall Wood Buildings. Code change proposal will be submitted January 8, 2017. Proposal includes provisions for buildings of fire-protected mass timber construction to be up to 18 stories and 270ft in height. Fire-protected mass timber construction with limited exposed... Read more »
P+W researchers collaborated with Autodesk BUILDSpace to fabricate an all-wood space frame using 2x lumber and wooden dowels. Using Dynamo to create the geometry and Fusion 360 to create the executable files, the 2x members were cut using a 5-axis CNC machine. Two assembled truss prototypes were created – one is housed at P+W Vancouver... Read more »
Most skyscrapers are behemoths of steel, glass, and reinforced concrete. As part of an ongoing project, researchers at Cambridge University, architects at Perkins+Will, and engineers at Thornton Tomasetti are proposing a timber skyscraper, called the River Beech Tower, in Chicago, Illinois. The team sees the wooden tower concept as an especially sustainable type of architecture since the... Read more »
The Precautionary List is a compilation of the most ubiquitous and problematic substances that people encounter every day in the built environment. Hosted on the Transparency website (transparency.perkinswill.com), it allows design professionals to search for key substances and chemicals of concern using filters like project type, product type, and health and environmental impacts. The information... Read more »
Flame retardants (FRs) are a group of additives that include toxic chemicals shown to be harmful to human and environmental health in many ways. With the enactment of California’s TB117-2013 for furniture fire safety and The Chicago Tribune’s scathing investigative report about FR manufacturers’ misleading marketing efforts, we learned that toxic chemicals are not the only way to support... Read more »
The demand for non-toxic building products is encouraging manufacturers to replace “worst offender” chemicals with safer alternatives. This presents an opportunity for manufacturers to innovate with greener chemistry. Transparency (ingredient disclosure) in the building industry has been growing, pressuring manufacturers to disclose more about the composition of products than ever before. The public’s alarm about... Read more »
Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Antimicrobials A companion piece to P+W’s recently published Healthy Environments: Understanding Antimicrobial Ingredients in Building Materials. Think those doorknobs, countertops, or floor tiles treated with antimicrobial ingredients are going to keep germs at bay and protect your health? You may want to reconsider. A new white paper... Read more »
Antimicrobial building products marketed as "healthy" contain ingredients that may have adverse environmental or human health impacts, and alternative products should be considered whenever possible, according to a new white paper by Perkins+Will and the Healthy Building Network (HBN). The paper exposes the lack of scientific evidence supporting claims that so-called antimicrobial products help ward off communicable diseases. Perkins+Will is placing "Products Marketed as Antimicrobial" on its Precautionary List, urging designers to consider alternatives before specifying them.