International House takes Best Use of Certified Timber Prize at World Architecture Festival

The jury of the World Architecture Festival (WAF) awarded the Best Use of Certified Timber prize, supported by PEFC, to International House.

With its seven floors, International House in Sydney is the world’s tallest all‐commercial building constructed fully from engineered timber.

Designed by Tzannes architecture, it was built by Lendlease with PEFC-certified cross laminated timber (CLT) supplied by Stora Enso.

Its clear glass façade reveals the inside timber structure to the public.

 Barangaroo International Tower – pic courtesy of WAF

Representing a very low carbon outcome, both in construction and operation, the building sets new standards in sustainable construction.

With certified timber as the main construction material, the building stores large amounts of carbon in its fabric.

While the adjacent harbour cools the building through modern heat exchange technology, photovoltaic panels on the roof generate renewable energy.

The use of prefabricated timber elements reduced the waste by 25%, compared to a conventional building.

“Timber has a very strong effect on humans, both psychologically and physically,” said Jonathan Evans, director of Tzannes architecture.

“We respond to the warmth of the timber, the character, the natural heritage of the material. It lowers our blood pressure and heart rate and improves our cognitive ability.”

With the many benefits for climate and health, timber is gaining ground as a construction material.

“The variety and geographic diversity of the projects entered into the prize verified that certified wood is a growing global trend.The PEFC certification provided confidence to architects that sustainability issues were correctly addressed in their projects,” said Mark Thomson,architect and member of the WAF jury.

“The judges of the best certified wood prize were impressed at the high quality of projects submitted for the award.”

Dedicated to celebrating and sharing outstanding architecture, the World Architecture Festival awards architecture prizes in various categories.

This year, PEFC and WAF awarded the Best Use of Certified Timber Prize for the first time.

It recognises architects and project teams for their use of certified timber as a main construction material for buildings outstanding in sustainability, innovation, quality or aesthetics and 40 architects from over 20 countries entered their projects into this category.

Nine shortlisted candidates presented their projects at the festival and fascinated the audience with their innovative constructions and background stories.

“Seeing the alchemy with which architects transformed certified timber into magnificent living and working space was beyond awe-inspiring and a fitting testament to the numerous managers of PEFC certified forests all around the world,” said Ben Gunneberg, PEFC International CEO.

Krakani Lumi Camp by Taylor and Hinds Architects and the Royal Academy of Music Theatre and Recital Hall by Ian Ritchie Architects were awarded as highly commended entries.

PICTURE – courtesy of World Architecture Festival

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