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Super Tall Timber project

An urbanising global population is leading to an increasingly dense built environment. Often this means people living and working in taller buildings. Throughout history – and in many parts of the world today – timber and other plant-based materials have played a major role in low-rise construction; but despite the many environmental, aesthetic and construction advantages, the natural Supertall timber quote variability and limited dimensions of these materials mean that they have not historically proved suitable for tall building construction. However, a new generation of engineered timber and plant-based products allow many of the limitations of variability and size to be overcome.


The Super Tall Timber project seeks to provide the understanding necessary to design and construct tall buildings using these new materials. Furthermore, by pushing the limits of what is possible with today’s materials we are able to explore the likely requirements for the engineered timber and plant-based materials of tomorrow.


The Super Tall Timber project is funded by an EPSRC Bright IDEAS award and is being carried out collaboration with leading international architecture and engineering practices. By working closely with practitioners we are able to explore the challenges associated with the design of real tall buildings in timber and to develop technologies that are timely and relevant to industry. By combing our fundamental and applied research capabilities with the expertise of leading designers we are establishing a virtuous circle of design-led-research and research-led-design.

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FLOWER approved by the Interreg VA France (Channel) England Programme

Jun 15, 2018

Development of innovative flax fibre reinforcements for composite applications

A strategy to improve the processing of softwood to sustainable biomaterials and biofuels

Sep 21, 2017

In a paper recently published in Biotechnology for Biofuels we are looking at a possible way to improve the processing of timber derived from conifers to feedstock used for sustainable manufacturing of novel biomaterials and biofuels. Softwood, as any other timber, is predominantly composed of plant secondary cell walls - an intricate matrix of polysaccharides and phenolic compounds which surround wood cells. Due to abundance of trees, plant secondary cell walls are the largest, renewable, resource of bioenergy on the planet.

Green method developed for making technical fibres

Sep 07, 2017

The team at the Centre for Natural Material Innovation has designed a super stretchy, strong and sustainable material that mimics the qualities of spider silk and viscose rayon, and is ‘spun’ from a material that is 98% water.

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