Tabitha Stine – SE PE LEED AP, Nucor Corporation, Charlotte, NC, USA
Over the last 18 months, constructsteel has been engaged with the Council for Tall Buildings & Urban Habitat (CTBUH) and partnered with the Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) to commission work on the viability of hybrid structures utilising steel and mass timber for emerging and established markets globally. CTBUH has a research arm facilitating the project to look at various aspects of technical and sustainability opportunities while also showcasing projects built around the world to date that can be the basis for future applications and improvements.
The commissioned work is also being led by contributing engineers from around the world who are experts in design and sustainability under the direction of CTBUH. End markets being explored include mid-rise and high-rise construction for traditional segments such as office and residential, while also evaluating low-rise buildings where logistics and data centres provide so many opportunities in today’s market. Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) will be curated and completed, which will compare the hybrid alternatives mentioned above, in various pockets around the world, to baseline LCAs for traditional steel structures and other common competitive materials.
The work is expected to continue until early 2024, but we expect to have early readouts of results and expectations to share by the time we are in South Korea this fall for the constructsteel annual conference. The goal is to determine how and where these resources can be adapted for regional-specific application by our members to grow steel market share in established and emerging markets worldwide. We will use them to showcase the sustainability advantages of steel thru our circular process of recycling and extraction – in partnership with the timber community and theirs. Not all areas of the world are impacted yet by timber construction, but we expect in the next ten years that as sustainability demands continue to grow, this type of construction will be in high demand, and we as a steel industry need to be prepared to equip designers to best-use our materials for ‘green solutions’ to win.