'Time for Timber' Exhibition on Display Oct. 4 through Nov. 22 in Vol Walker Hall

The Wood Innovation and Design Centre on the University of Northern British Columbia campus in Prince George is an eight-story, 51,000-square-foot office and educational structure, designed by Michael Green Architecture.
Ema Peter; courtesy of Michael Green Architecture

The Wood Innovation and Design Centre on the University of Northern British Columbia campus in Prince George is an eight-story, 51,000-square-foot office and educational structure, designed by Michael Green Architecture.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The exhibition "Time for Timber" will be on display Oct. 4 through Nov. 22 in the first floor commons area of Vol Walker Hall on the University of Arkansas campus. 

The exhibition, which features the latest mass timber construction technologies, is part of the Timber! Design Excellence in Timber and Wood Symposium being co-hosted Oct. 4-6 by the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design and the U.S. Forest Service. An exhibition opening reception is planned for 5:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4.

"Time for Timber" argues for the increased use of wood as an alternative to more fossil-fuel intensive building materials by showcasing six innovative mass timber structures in North America and Europe. The projects in the exhibition will be represented through photographs, drawings, renderings and material samples.

Each of the projects has been carefully chosen based on its unique approach to sustainable building practices. The presented buildings were designed by Lever Architecture in Portland, Oregon; Michael Green Architecture in Vancouver, Canada; Acton Ostry Architects in Vancouver; Waugh Thistleton Architects in London; Kaden Klingbeil Architekten in Berlin, and Lattke Architekten in Augsburg, Germany.

The exhibition was designed and curated by Uli Dangel, associate professor and program director for architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. Dangel's research and teaching focus on the use of wood in construction, its influence on building culture and craft, and how it contributes to the advancement of sustainable practices at the scale of local and global economies.

The exhibition is based on the premise that society is currently faced with two significant challenges: human-made climate change and the need to provide housing for an ever-increasing world population. 

Since the Industrial Revolution, humans have relied on steel and concrete as the primary building materials for the construction of cities. Their refinement and processing require large amounts of energy, which is mostly generated by the burning of fossil fuels. As a result, carbon that has been stored for millions of years has been released into the earth's atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide within a relatively short period of about 150 years, contributing significantly to the climate shift being experienced today.

The manufacture of cement, the key ingredient in concrete, emits one ton of carbon dioxide for every ton of cement produced and constitutes one of the most polluting processes in today's construction industry, Dangel said.

To provide sufficient housing for future generations, while also lessening the impact on the environment, methods of building must be reconsidered, he said.

Wood is a truly renewable building material that is unlimited in supply if its growth and harvest are sustainably managed. Trees store carbon through photosynthesis as they grow, simultaneously releasing oxygen. When wood decays or burns, it only releases as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as has been bound during its growth, therefore completing a carbon neutral life cycle.

The latest innovations in engineering allow for the use of timber in the construction of multi-story and long-span structures. By replacing steel and concrete with timber, buildings and cities can become carbon sinks rather than becoming sources for carbon dioxide emissions.

The University of Arkansas is rapidly becoming known as a center of design and research in mass timber and wood products. The University's Library Annex Building was the first mass timber construction in the state, and the recently completed Adohi Hall is currently the largest mass timber residence hall in the United States.

The exhibition was supported by the UT School of Architecture's Center for American Architecture and Design (CAAD) and its Lectures and Exhibitions Committee.

Admission to the exhibition is free. The exhibition is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. It will also be open to the public during the symposium Oct. 4-6. 

Contacts

Shawnya Lee Meyers, digital media specialist
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design
479-575-4744, slmeyers@uark.edu

Michelle Parks, director of communications
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design
479-575-4704, mparks17@uark.edu

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