University of Bath
The BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials
As aforementioned, timber and wood research are primarily concentrated around a few research hubs within Bath University, primarily under the aegis of the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials. There are, however, other smaller centres of timber research, including the Natural Materials and Structures Group within Cambridge Architecture School and Hooke Park, where the Architectural Association’s rural hub is involved in a new research venture.
The Centre is led by Professor Pete Walker and includes several timber specialists. The University of Bath has historically been involved in timber related research, including light weight shell structures, connected to Frei Otto and Buro Happold’s work at Hooke Park, the Weald and Downland gridshell and the Savill Gardens gridshell. Until 2014, timber engineering research was led by Richard Harris, ex-head of Buro Happold’s wood engineering group.
Centre offers both an MSc in Civil Engineering: Innovative Structural
Materials, and post-graduate degrees combining Architecture and Engineering.
Department of Architecture & Engineering, and Centre for Advanced Studies in Architecture (CASA)
In addition to the BRE Centre, there are two other hubs for timber research at Bath University; the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, and the Centre for Advanced Studies in Architecture (CASA). While neither focus on natural materials at quite the level of the BRE Centre, each includes a steady stream of timber and related wood construction research.
Up until about midway
through the last decade, there was ongoing research into timber shell structure
engineering, and specifically gridshell forms.
This research focus was originally significantly due to the involvement of Professor Edmund Happold, as the first chair of Architecture and Engineering at Bath University in the 1980’s. It introduced a generation of engineers to the university after Happold founded the engineering firm, Buro Happold in Bath. Research on the gridshells at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum (2000) and Savill Garden (2006), plus others, spawned a wave of research maintained by Happold engineers. Those engaged in the research included Professors Michael Dickson, Chris Williams, and Richard Harris, the latter becoming head of timber research at Bath. All three moved on in the mid 2010s; Dickson and Williams retiring, and Williams to a post at Chalmers University, Gothenberg, Sweden (although he remains cited as a research associate with CASA).
Whole Timber Construction – A State of the Art Review (2019) Bukauskas, A. Mayencourt, P., Shepherd, P., Sharma, B., Mueller, C., Walker, P., and Bregula, J. Construction and Building Materials, 213, pp. 748-769.
Heritage retrofit and cultural empathy; a discussion of challenges regarding the energy performance of historic UK timber-framed dwellings (2019) Whitman, C., Prizeman, O., Walker, P. and Gwilliam, J. International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation.
Wood waste as an alternative thermal insulation for buildings (2018) Cetiner, I. and Shea, A. Energy and Buildings, 168.
Form-Fitting Strategies for Diversity-Tolerant Design (2017) Bukauskas, A. Shepherd, P. Walker, P. Sharma, B. and Bregula, J. Presented at the IASS Annual Symposium. Hamburg, Germany.
Diffusion of a systemic innovation: A longitudinal case study of a Swedish multi-storey timber housebuilding system (2017) Lindgren, J. and Emmitt, S. Construction Innovation: Information, Process, Management.
Dowelled structural connections in laminated bamboo and timber (2016) Sharma, B., Reynolds, T., Harries, K. and Ramage, M. Composites Part B: Engineering, 90.
Dynamic properties of tall timber structures under wind-induced vibration (2016) Feldmann, A., Huang, H., Chang, W., Harris, R., Dietsch, P., Gräfe, M. and Hein, C. World Conference on Timber Engineering. Vienna.
Enhance mechanical properties of timber, engineered wood products and timber structures. Special Issue based upon work from COST Action FP1004, (2016) Harris, R. and van de Kuilen, J. European Journal of Wood and Wood Products.
Investigation of thread configuration of self-tapping screws as reinforcement for dowel-type connection (2016) Zhang, C. Chang, W. and Harris, R. World Conference on Timber Engineering. Vienna.
Shaking Table Test of the Taiwanese Traditional Dieh-Dou Timber Frame (2016) Yeo, S. Hsu, M. Komatsu, K. Chung, Y. and Chang, W. International Journal of Architectural Heritage, 10(5).
Structural development and testing of a prototype using timber and straw bales (2015) Maskell, D. Gross, C. Thomson, A., Beadle, K. Walker, P. and Mander, T. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Structures and Buildings, 168(SB1), pp. 67-75.
Racking performance of timber studwork and hemp-lime walling (2015) Gross, C. and Walker, P. Construction and Building Materials, 66(15), pp. 429-435.
Repair and reinforcement of timber colums and shear walls – a review (2015) Chang, W. Construction and Building Materials, 97, pp. 14-24.