Podcast Ep. 20 - How good is wood? The case for mass timber | foresight.skanska.com

How good is wood? The case for mass timber

Many architects agree that there are advantages to building in mass timber.

Trees bind carbon, wooden buildings have shorter construction time, and timber offers superior insulation. So what’s impeding the material’s widespread adoption? Is it really all good with wood? In this episode we explore if mass timber can be a game changer for the industry.

We speak with Andrew Waugh from the UK’s Waugh Thistleton Architects, which has built projects include Murray Grove, the world’s first all-timber residential tower. Andrew is an architect specializing in mass timber, and is working on projects all over the world. He believes that making buildings out of wood rather than concrete requires architects to take a fundamentally different approach to design: “We’re still right at the beginning with timber. The challenges of this transition are about education and understanding, but it’s also about how we see and measure success in architecture. We need to build more buildings that actually make people feel happy or work hard in them, that buildings are actually successful for us as inhabitants.”


We also talk to Dean Lewis, Director of Mass Timber and Prefabrication with Skanska, in Seattle, USA. Dean, who is responsible for the company’s work on prefabrication and mass timber projects across the country, speaks warmly about the benefits of building in wood. He also discusses our work on Portland International Airport’s innovative curved timber roof using locally sourced materials. “Our most recent, our most prolific mass timber example is the Portland Airport expansion. Every time you fly into that airport you are always going to see it and it really [marks] Portland as the leader in the States for mass timber right now.”
You can tune in, listen and subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.    
This episode’s guests:


Andrew Waugh

A founding director of the British firm Waugh Thistleton Architects, UK.


Dean Lewis

Director of Mass Timber and Prefabrication, Skanska, Seattle, USA.