The construction industry moves a huge amount of resources, employs millions of people, and is a fairly accurate gauge for the economic situation of different countries. If the economy goes down, construction shrinks, and vice versa. Members of the construction industry include mining companies, contractors, material manufacturers, architects, engineers, governments, real estate, and more. In other words, many agents participate either directly and indirectly in the industry. But construction is also considered to be one of the most backward and resistant industries to embrace new technologies, instead opting to replicate traditional ways of doing less efficient work with high rates of waste. A study by McKinsey & Company showed that, unlike other industries, industry productivity has remained stable in construction in recent years, despite all the technological progress that has occurred.
Concrete, a material commonly used in the construction industry, is made of a binder combined with aggregates (or gravels), water, and certain additives. Its origins reach back as far as Ancient Egypt, when the construction of large structures created the need for a new kind of material: one which was liquid, featured properties of natural stones, could be molded, and communicated a sense of nobility and grandeur.
Concrete, an essential building material, has for decades offered us the possibility of shaping our cities quickly and effectively, allowing them to rapidly expand into urban peripheries and reach heights previously unimagined by mankind. Today, new timber technologies are beginning to deliver similar opportunities – and even superior ones – through materials like Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT).
To better understand the properties and benefits of CLT, we talked with Jorge Calderón, Industrial Designer and CRULAMM Manager. He discusses some of the promising opportunities that CLT could provide architecture in the future.
Eduardo Souto de Moura (born 25 July 1952), the Portuguese architect that won the 2011 Pritzker Prize, is known for designs that are formally simple yet serious and at times, dramatic, created through his thoughtful use of colors and materials. His architecture is both versatile and consistent, contextual yet universal, and rarely affected by current trends or styles.