Richard Lyall, president of the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), has been appointed to a steering committee of the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) that will oversee a research project that will look at the potential benefits of using a hybrid of steel and timber in high-rise buildings.
He joins four other steering committee members from the U.S. and Italy that will guide research activities and assist in the collection and interpretation of case study information. At the end of the two-year project, a guide for stakeholders will be published that will influence the future of the building industry.
“I am extremely honoured to be appointed to this special committee that will be doing ground-breaking research into how timber and steel can be used in the construction of tall buildings,” said Lyall. “This is critically important work as the industry is looking at more sustainable construction methods which is driving interest in mass timber, not only because of its lower carbon footprint in production, but because of its ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere as it grows.”
The research project, officially called The Future Potential of Steel-Timber Composite Structures, will study the design, life-cycle cost, environmental, and market benefits of using steel-timber composite structures. The CTBUH received a grant from constructsteel, the steel construction market-development program of the World Steel Association, to conduct the research.
The project will involve identifying and collecting data on numerous case studies, performing a detailed technical audit of the leading examples, and compiling recommendations. Completion date for the project is June 2023.
“The adoption of mass timber is still in its infancy, with buildings as high as 20 storeys being achieved so far,” said Lyall. “In future, timber will need to be used with other materials such as steel to achieve greater building heights. This research will further that cause and provide greater insight.”
Lyall, a director on the RCCAO board, is also on a Future Timber City research project of the CTBUH, which is looking at the design, technologies, construction and planning needs to build a future mass timber community.