At the London Design Festival 2018, MultiPly (made of cross-laminated American tulipwood) is a zero-impact building

MultiPly is a green pavilion, i.e. it is has no environmental impact, and is made of CLT American tulipwood with digitally fabricated joints. If you would like to see it, visit the Sackler Courtyard at the Victoria&Albert Museum by 1st October 2018, during the London Design Festival.

The installation, resulting from the collaboration of Waugh Thistleton Architects with American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and ARUP, comprises a maze-like series of interconnected cubes that overlap and intertwine and illustrates how modular construction using cross-laminated timber from American hardwoods can be a good solution to the current housing crisis, both from the economic and environmental point of view.

During the day, visitors can climb its stairs, go through the corridors and look out the open spaces along its 9 meters of height, experiencing the pleasure of a structure made of a natural material, with neither concrete nor steel.

{%CAPTION%}“The main ambition of this project is to publicly debate how environmental challenges can be addressed through innovative, affordable construction,” says Andrew Waugh, co-founder of Waugh Thistleton Architects. “We are at a crisis point in terms of both housing and CO2 emissions and we believe that building in a versatile, sustainable material such as tulipwood is an important way of addressing these issues.”

The tulipwood required to build the 43 m3 volume of MultiPly is replaced by the natural growth of American forests in five minutes.

Moreover, the structure has been made using the first CLT panels produced in the UK, while the tulipwood is sourced from the Eastern United States, where the hardwood forest area is currently growing at a rate of one football pitch per minute, and already exceeds 110 million hectares, equivalent to the combined area of France and Spain.

This makes the material both sustainable and environmentally friendly, especially as it is one of the most abundant American hardwoods – accounting for 7.7% of the total standing volume in U.S. hardwood forests. Every year, even after harvest, the volume of tulipwood in the U.S. forest grows by 19 million m3, the equivalent of over 19 Olympic swimming pools per day. [Text Valentina Dalla Costa]