SALVAӘƎ – sustainable use of salvaged wood

SALVAӘƎ showcases architectural and structural possibilities, made from salvaged wood and wooden nails. The exhibition spotlights the importance of the sustainable use of salvaged wood, latest results from our timber-only research at Aalto University and its possible applications. Join us at Väre main lobby for the exhibition on 8-22 May 2022.

Despite its structural and architectural qualities, to date, timber cut-off and timber waste from the construction industry is predominantly used for energy recovery. To locally salvage them for new architectural and structural purposes is the aim of our research and of this exhibition.

In the context of global warming, it is increasingly important to rethink building materials and their role in architecture. The use of locally salvaged wood in construction, especially with little or no processing, offers opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It can also create a unique tectonic and visual expression where the salvaged material and its low level of processing define the design space.

Inspired by the idea of the ancient Master Builders, we propose an integrated design approach  that considers the key elements of architectural and structural design and explores the relationships between these elements. As a showcase, we apply our design approach to a nature trail project where two design aspects, a modular and highly economic as well as a customised and creative version were successfully implemented. This demonstrates the flexibility of the approach for different design tasks and contexts, as well as the use of state-of-the-art technology in design and fabrication.

SALVAӘƎ presents “the plaza”, the customised part of the trail project. However, the entire structure follows a timber-only concept, where only wooden nails are used to connect the salvaged timber boards. The aspect of utmost importance is the connection detail, which is addressed in our experimental and analytical studies on connections with wooden nails.

The fabrication of the structure was integrated as a practical part of the multidisciplinary design-build course, Structures and Architecture: Informed Structures at Aalto University. Special thanks to the dedicated students Elettra Cremonesi, Jolien Crum, Lorenzo Giordano, Kertu Jõeste, Lassi Liimatainen, Gabrielle Nicolas and Olímpia Solà Inaraja who participated in the course and workshop led by Günther H. Filz and Gengmu Ruan.

This research project is supported by City of Kouvola, Elementit-E Oy, Kouvola innovation Oy, Kouvola Region Vocational College (KSAO) and Beck Group.

Gengmu Ruan, PhD candidate in Timber-only Structures and Architecture ([email protected])
Günther H. Filz, Professor of Structures and Architecture ([email protected])
Gerhard Fink, Professor of Wooden Structures ([email protected])

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