HiTimber project helps to increase competence in timber construction

HiTimber project helps to increase competence in timber construction
  • 22. June 2018
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- Kodumaja poolt ehitatud 14-korruseline kortermaja Norras Foto: Maris Tomba -

Estonian Woodhouse Association in cooperation with Tallinn University of Applied Sciences will participate in an international program „Sustainable High-Rise Buildings Designed and Constructed in Timber (HiTimber)“  that promotes timber construction education. The purpose of the three-year project co-operating with partners from different countries is to develop a new study module for teaching timber construction in universities more efficiently.

Many specialists in construction sector assure that the trend of timber high-rise buildings is increasing and more thought is put into how to replace construction materials that are contaminating nature (e.g steel, concrete) with those that are more environmentally friendly. Wood is hereby the ideal alternative: it is possible to grow and renew it as a resource in responsibly managed forests- wood absorbs carbon dioxide that causes global climate changes, and does not remarkably contaminate environment during the production process. Wood is more widely used in construction industry and high-rise buildings are being built more and more. At the same time, the education regarding building towerblocks of wood is still lacking. The purpose of the HiTimber project is to share the best practices of different countries and to start processes in universities of wider know-how in designing, managing construction works and maintaining real-estate.


Promoting timber constructing

Architect Mihkel Urmet, who is a member of the Board of Estonian Woodhouse Association, sees participation in HiTimber project as an important driving force in promoting timber construction. „The project enables partners from different countries and organizations to share information and what is especially important about this, is that the shared material will be grouped together into a guidance material for teaching timber constructions. This helps to introduce different parts of timber construction and design to future students.“ Woodhouse Association as one of the partners from Estonia is happy that the project has launched successfully. „Our experience and know-how of timber house design and construction are definitely an input appreciated by other partners. Therefore we can be proud and say that we are moving in the right direction,“ says Urmet.

HiTimber project was written in cooperation with several partners in order to fulfil future needs for higher education considering innovation, sustainability, international, inter-university and industrial approaches.  The main output of the project will be a new study module/group of elective courses and a thorough textbook of how to design timber towerblocks, which can be used by universities for adding extra value to construction curriculums and teaching how to build sustainable timber high-rise buildings.


Each region has its own specifics in construction

The website of Estonian Woodhouse Association writes, that Martti Kiisa, the director of the Institute of Civil Engineering of Tallinn University of Applied Sciences, says that one of the biggest values of the project is an enormous widening of horizons. „Each region in Europe has their own specifics in construction. You will take a completely different look at a building when there are people from different countries on the team – Nordic countries, Southern Europe and countries in-between. Some stress firmness against seismic threats, others consider construction physics or extreme wind load and this information spreads in the group. Such variety is pleasantly contagious and makes one look outside your own small regional box“, explained Martti Kiisa.

Other project partners are VIA UCSouthampton Solent University, Tallinn University of Applied Sciences, Vilnius Gediminas Technical UniversityUniversidade de LisboaChartered Institute of Architectural Technologies (CIAT)Chartered Institute of Builders (CAOB), Denmark Constructor Union (KFunion), TISEM, LDA (TISEM), serQ – Centro de Inovação e Competências da Floresta – Associação, Sonae Group and Amorim Group, Estonian Woodhouse Association, Lithuanian Association of Timber Houses Producers, Lithuanian Builders Association and Lithuanian Real Estate Development Association, Study and Consulting Center (SCC).

You can read more about the programme in an article at Estonian Woodhouse Association homepage.



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