"Wir sitzen alle auf einer Kugel und von der kann keiner runterspringen"
(U. Merbold, German astronaut and physicist)
Only when we know a natural material like wood perfectly are we able to use it perfectly. Perfect use means an appealing design, a safe construction, lasting, efficient in terms of primary energy and material costs, as well as in terms of operating and demolition, and using local wood sources.
Only when most of the criteria above are fulfilled does a building earn the title "sustainable".
Planners and architects have the fundamental responsibility to help save our planet.
„Nur mit einer weltoffenen Haltung die Vielfalt sucht um Einfalt zu vermeiden, sind kreative Leistungen möglich. Nur so werden viele Informationen hereingeholt, aus denen die richtigen, weil nützlichen Elemente gewählt werden können, um sie in einer originellen Synthese zu einem kreativen Produkt zusammenzubauen.“*
A high-level of material usage in connection with long-term retention in constructions and followed by cascading use of the wood defines the term sustainability of timber construction. The goal of the Institute of Advanced Timber Architecture and Engineering at Trier University of Applied Sciences is to increase the market share of timber and mix-timber constructions in Rhineland-Palatinate. Our focus is researching timber composite constructions and sharing this knowledge with students, architects and engineers.
A supranationalization in all areas of the economy, thus also in architecture, has led to an elimination of local resources in design and construction. The use of building materials from distant countries (e.g. natural stone from South America, larch wood from the Ural region) goes against the idea of sustainability and leads to thoughtless energy practices in society. This line of thought leads to a direct course of action. Architecture and furnishings are increasingly prescribed an apparent resource efficiency through building technology and political regulations (e.g. highly-insulated, closed façade components lead to results in line with the ENEV (Energy Saving Ordinance), but little can be said about the interior climate, the long-life cycle or the overall energy balance of the buildings). Often self-proclaimed experts or prophets propped up by lobby groups offer their services as qualified institutes, in order to give builders and end-users an economic advantage (EPD, DGNB). These institutes give lay people and experts an (apparent) sense of security in the increasingly complex world of construction. Aspects of aesthetics, tradition and consideration of the “Genius loci” of architecture are often disregarded.
A new awareness of material flows, aesthetic, sustainability, and the value of traditional, sustainable products is currently emerging.
The Institute of Advanced Timber Architecture and Engineering uses high-tech/low-tech strategies, where our high-tech goal is based on research-relevant engineering for qualified, resource-efficient use of timber as a construction material. Our low-tech goal aims at developing regionally available and long-term low-maintenance building components and structural concepts using timber and mix-timber designs.
Free from economic constraints and ideological blinders, we carry out design research in line with modern timber construction, which is based on the laws of physics and rooted in our building culture.
*Gottlieb Guntern, born 1939, systems scientist, Fellow of the World Economic Forum (Davos/Geneve)
Prof. Dr. Wieland Becker/Architecture
Schneidershof D104 - 107
(0) 651 8103 267/418
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