‘I’m no longer the wood weirdo,’ says Andrew Waugh

By Hattie Hartman and George Morgan
Architect’s Journal Climate Champion Podcast
December 14, 2023
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

‘I want to transform the whole industry,’ says Waugh, founding director of Waugh Thistleton, which was recently named Practice of the Year at the AJ Architecture Awards. Waugh explains why tall buildings have no place in sustainable cities of the future, how building housing with timber can reduce its carbon burden by as much as 75 per cent, and why we should stop building basements (they are up to five times as carbon-intensive as upper floors). Waugh advocates building with timber primarily as a low-carbon alternative to concrete and steel, rather than for aesthetic reasons. He shares recent research that clarifies end-of-life alternatives for timber that are not incineration or landfill. He makes it clear that current subsidies that encourage burning of timber for biomass must be revamped to support use of UK-grown timber for construction.

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