Best Use of Certified Wood Honoured at World Architecture Festival

By Michael Buckley, Turnstone Singapore

From Chile to China and Canada, teams of architects assembled in Amsterdam to present their projects at the 2018 World Architecture Festival. At a Gala Dinner for over 1,000, the results were announced by organiser Paul Finch describing itas “a moment to celebrate the extraordinary diversity and skills of a global profession.”

The three day event had seen presentations of many categories which this year included the inaugural Best Use of Certified Wood sponsored by PEFC – the world’s largest forest certification scheme now operating in 50 countries.This sees the continuing increase of interest by architectural practices in sustainable wood products including glulam, CLT, engineered and thermally modified wood (TMT) with all the environmental benefits they offer over other materials.

Attending the dinner PEFC’s Secretary General, Ben Gunneberg presented the winning award to the Tzannes architectpractice for their International House in Sydney, Australia – an office using exclusively PEFC certified wood. The seven-story commercial building is structured in timber and makes use of recycled hardwood timber. The judges described the project as “exemplary” and said, “the architects have set new standards for future architectural solutions and workplace environments.” Forty architects entered this category back in June and nine were shortlisted including projects from UK, Italy, China, Norway and two more from Australia.

Ben Gunneberg CEO PEFC International and Jonathan Evans, Director, Tzannes and his wife

Described as a prime example for sustainable construction with its seven floors, International House is the world’s tallest all‐commercial building constructed fully from engineered timber. It catches the eye with its clear glass façade that generates interest by revealing the inside timber structure to the public.Because the building represents a very low carbon outcome, both in construction and operation, it 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.


International House, Sydney

The same evening the World Building of the Year was the big winner – WOHA’s Kampung Admiralty in Singapore. Before being crowned World Building of the Year, Kampung Admiralty had earlier won in the Mixed Use category. WOHA describes the building as Singapore’s first integrated public development that brings together a mix of public facilities and services under one roof; these include a public plaza, a medical centre, and a community park and housing for seniors. The mixed use project “supports inter-generational bonding and promotes active aging in place,” according to WOHA.

The next WAF may be held in Berlin.