9-story apartment building made of WOOD

"[UK] Among the many apartment buildings in the London borough of Hackney, the nine-story structure ... stands out, its exterior a mix of white and gray tiles rather than the usual brick. But it’s what’s underneath this cladding that makes the 29-unit building truly different. From the second floor up, it is constructed entirely of wood, making it one of the tallest wooden residential buildings in the world."
The wood is kinda a super-plywood, up to 6" thick and 30' long.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/05/science/lofty-ambitions-for-cross-laminated-timber-panels.html?_r=1&ref=science
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HeyBub wrote:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/05/science/lofty-ambitions-for-cross-laminated-timber-panels.html?_r=1&ref=science
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I think the article said that fire was not a really big hazard for 2 reasons. The plywood sandwiches are covered by wallboard of some kind. Therefore, the wood isn't really accessible for fires, and, moreover,it has little air inside, so don't really support combustion. The article showed a crosssection of a charred, but not really burnt piece as evidence for this.
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I wonder how it will fare when, not if, the first flood hits it. People's sinks and tubs overflow quite often in apartment buildings. And plumbing breaks. When this water hits the edge of the floors, it goes into the voids in the walls. How will the laminated building glue handle it when the wallboard holds the water inside the walls, surrounding the plywood supports? I hope they tested for that.
I'm too much of a realist to want to ever live there.
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Legit question, but seems to show you didn't read the article. These panels are like prefab concrete, but made of wood. NOT hollow, except for utility channels. Do read the article. I don't recall what glue is used, though.
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I had a few immediate questions the article did not seem to address:
1. Insulation value. With less than 6" of solid wood, that's under an R8 insulation value. There's probably some thermal mass, but it doesn't seem like this system would be a good option in cold climates.
2. Utilities. As with a traditional log home, where to you run the plumbing, electrical, and other services? You would either need to build a secondary wall on the interior to provide space for these (negating the advantages of the system), or restrict utilities to interior walls. I suppose you could use surface mount conduit for electrical, but that's not a good option for plumbing.
3. The wood panels are touted as making efficient use of wood, but common SIPS (structural insulated panels), use less wood, provide better insulation, and offer at least some ability to route wiring (though I still question the fire and insect resistance).
The main thing this system seems to have going for it is strength, which I'm sure there are good situations it could be used for. But I would not want to build an entire house with them.
Anthony
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+1
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On Mon, 11 Jun 2012 10:58:56 -0400, "Mike Marlow"

pre-drilled - which they MIGHT be if they are designed to be installed with tensioning bars or cables - - - .
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I thougnt that's what the "I" in SIP stood for - - - .

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On 6/11/2012 2:09 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

That's true ... the point being that "insulation" is still necessary regardless of which you use... whether it is the factory built-in insulation between the exterior and interior panels of SIPS; or added to the exterior in the field, as with CLT construction.
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On 6/11/2012 6:23 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Are you looking for an argument, or are you just being uncommonly thickheaded on this subject?
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6" SIP construction where that was basically all the insulation used, and required. (except for the attic)
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On 6/11/2012 6:55 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

And who said otherwise ... insulation is necessary ... "whether it is the factory built-in insulation between the exterior and interior panels of SIPS; or added to the exterior in the field, as with CLT construction"?
Perhaps we are separated by a common language?
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Swingman wrote the following on 6/11/2012 8:06 PM (ET):

More likely, a lack of reading comprehension.
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On 6/11/12 6:27 PM, Swingman wrote:

Whatever happens, I sure hope the architects, engineers and planners on that project stop in here to get our advice, first, to make sure the thing doesn't collapse, go up in flames, or succumb to oak rust.
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snipped-for-privacy@unknown.com says...

Why does the structure also have to be the insulation?

Where do you put the plumbing with reinforced concrete?
This isn't intended for ad-hoc house building, it's intended for prefabricated structures where the panels are shipped to the site precut and predrilled. The plumbing would have also been designed into the structure before the first panel was cut.

So when was the last time you saw a 9 story building made of SIPS?
As for your concerns about "fire and insect resistance" why would those be any worse than for wood frame construction?

Nor would anyone ask you to unless it was prefabbed.
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"Mike Marlow" wrote in message
And to that point - I have routed utilities between my log courses, and then re-chinked afterwards. You'd never know it was done afterwards. Where there is a will, there is a way. It does take a little creative thinking and even, a little more work, but not all that much. If one really thinks about the amount of work required to open up and re-seal a traditional wall, the difference is not as great as it first may seem.
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For those interested, here are some images of CLT:
http://preview.tinyurl.com/86pqk6j
There is also an interesting article on page 46 of this html magazine:
http://www.kenilworth.com/publications/cs/de/201109/index.html
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Neat!!
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Han
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