Metsä Wood’s Hybrid City Challenge called for ways to make construction more sustainable, while maintaining efficiency using current building methods. The answer lies in hybrid construction: modular construction practically combining wood and other construction materials. The Hybrid City Challenge gathered some 40 ideas from 22 countries.
The winner of the first prize of €10,000 was a design called “WHAT IF… New York´s SEAGRAM Building was a HYBRID building”, by Colombian architect Jose Gustavo Garzon. The design presents a hybrid system with a core made of concrete and steel. When moving outwards and upwards, the frame gradually blends into a wooden frame.
The jury had the difficult task of selecting the winners from the suggestions. “The competition was of a very high standard. In the top 10, many great innovations and ideas were presented that on their own would be extremely interesting in any context,” says the chairman of the jury Jussi Björman, Director, Technical Customer Service at Metsä Wood.
The challenge was to select a structure, module or concept used in an existing multi-storey building made of non-wooden materials and redesign it by replacing some of the materials with wood. The criteria for selecting the winners were: 1.) efficiency – a modular solution compatible with current building methods; and 2.) sustainability – using Metsä Wood’s Kerto LVL (laminated veneer lumber) as the main material.
“The winning solution shows good understanding of different materials and makes use of their best properties to create an optimal combination. The system is a construction method with great potential for high-rise buildings in the future,” Björman remarks.
“The Hybrid City Challenge is an inspiring exercise to explore the smarter combination of building materials and systems in creating sustainable, durable and high-performance buildings, according to the complexity of the industry,” says winner, Jose Gustavo Garzon. “Hybrid construction – mixing concrete, steel and indoor wood – offers the most promising opportunities in the coming years, and I think it will be the standard for high-rise buildings.”
The second prizes of €5,000 were awarded to “Alexandra Road Estate Reimagined”, by Frederick Pittman and “Villa Mokum, mostly wood, some steel and a concrete base”, by Jasper Middelberg.
The construction sector alone uses 50% of the world’s resources and causes 30% of all CO2 emissions. At the same time, we are forced to build at breakneck speed to support the ever-growing need for housing – while keeping costs low. And then there’s the environment…
All construction materials have their benefits. But wood is the only renewable construction material, and it also stores carbon. We need to find ways to use wood more. Hybrid structures offer an opportunity to use more wood in construction without disrupting the existing processes, making the change easier. The competition designs offer practical approaches to how the construction industry can gradually move forwards with more sustainable urban construction.
See all the competition designs at Opensourcewood.com
See the details of the winning designs:
Read more about the Plan B: Hybrid City initiative.