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Engineered wood glass combination: Innovative glazing façade system
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Building Materials.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Buildings require a lot of energy during all their lifetime, from the construction site to the use and demolition. The building sector contributes to a large part of the total emissions of greenhouse gases and consume a large amount of water and energy resources, so the material components used in the building sector have gained an important role in the discourse of sustainability. The tendency is to use natural renewable materials that generates lower environmental impact than conventional ones and are able to fulfil the required structural and architectural needs.

Wood is a traditional material with a long and proud history and has been reintroduced in the construction site thanks to its sustainable characteristics. Wood used for building applications, i.e. timber, is capable to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and incorporate so-called carbon storage. Moreover, low process energy requirements and high recyclability increase the potential of timber to become a major building material. On the other hand, the considerable growing demand for highly transparent envelopes has recently resulted in massive introduction of glass as a façade component. The main objective of this thesis was therefore to elaborate on the question if it is possible to merge the positive aspects of these two materials.

The thesis starts with a discussion on hybrid, composite and combined materials. The key concept is to merge two or more materials with different characteristics, which result in a finished product with better overall properties than the starting constituents. However, such building material systems are not well categorized and a new term is therefore introduced to describe the combination between wood and glass: engineered wood glass combination (EWGC).

The product is then described presenting the characteristics and properties of wood and glass and the structural benefits of the whole panel. The EWGC product possesses some advantageous properties like transparency, stiffness and strength for glass and the ductile nature of timber when used under compression. Moreover, this wood-glass element enables load transfer of horizontal forces through the glass pane so that the additional metal bracing elements for stiffening the building can be omitted.

Then the study goes deeper in the architectural possibilities and different potential types of assembly are described. However, only few profiles have been tested and this has resulted in the market production of only one type of panel that is currently used in the construction site. Moreover, the shape of the EWGC is suitable to integrate systems that can control the ventilation rate and solar gains, allowing the development of advanced integrated façades that ensure the comfort condition inside the building.

EWGC is also seen to be highly potential as an ecological alternative to conventional structural sealant aluminium-glass façade. For this reason, the life cycle assessment (LCA) of different materials is discussed in order to evaluate their environmental impacts. LCA results are strongly dependent on the calculation boundaries and the choice of database, but it stands out that aluminium, as a construction material for glazing elements, requires up to 4 times higher primary energy demand and produces up to 16 times more CO2 emission than timber based combined panels. Despite some weak points, e.g. the lack of standardized regulations and people’s preconceptions about wood, the overall conclusion is that EWGC has the potential to be used for future building envelopes of multi-storey timber buildings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 77
Series
TRITA-BYMA, ISSN 0349-5752 ; 2017:03
Keywords [en]
wood, glass, combination, engineered products, EWGC, façade, panel, sustainability
National Category
Architectural Engineering Building Technologies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-209799OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-209799DiVA, id: diva2:1114503
Subject / course
Building Materials
Educational program
Degree of Master - Civil and Architectural Engineering
Presentation
2017-06-02, Projekthallen, Brinellvägen 23, Stockholm, 23:42 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-06-28 Created: 2017-06-23 Last updated: 2017-06-30Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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