Inside Issue 2-2022:
Editorial: An integral part of the design decision making process for our built environment is material choice – steel, timber, concrete etc. As our priorities change and we move to a more sustainable / circular way of thinking it is correct to focus on the CO2 impact of our material choice. It should also be noted that CO2 may not be the only parameter that needs to be considered.
Structural engineers have already recognised that savings can be made in material use by avoiding over design of structures. Estimates ranging from anywhere between 20-50% have been recently quoted. Alongside the design of more efficient structures consideration should be given to optimising material combination that not only aid in efficiency, circularity but also final aesthetics.
Flimwell Park, in East Sussex, is a prime example. Initially an all-timber design was changed – due to issues during COVIDto a timber plus galvanized steel solution. This not only saved on costs, but the client and architect found that the symbiotic relationship between the materials resulted in a more efficient and aesthetically pleasing project.