Roundwood timber from forest thinnings is a plentiful and inexpensive resource in many parts of the world, generally destined for low grade applications such as pulping, board production or fuel. In recent years, there has been interest in developing higher grade uses for such material. One such application has been the construction of the KIND centre, a 350-m2 single storey residential centre completed in 2001, in which roundwood timber framing is used for the structural frame. The paper describes the structure, its design and construction. The paper outlines the societal, environmental and economic benefits of using locally grown roundwood timber thinnings, as well as the technical merits of the material and difficulties to be faced in its use. It describes how the design philosophy evolved to maximise the use of skills available within rural communities. The paper sets out a process of design validation followed when in using a novel engineering material, including the use of physical testing and re-evaluation of conventional performance criteria. The paper is amply illustrated to show the high quality internal useable space achieved, which has maintained the essence of the rustic and rural setting in its outer appearance. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Low cost
- Roundwood timber