University Timber Structure Design Competition

By: Lance Tao

Communications Manager, Canada Wood Group

Students from Nanjing Tech University and Tongji University won the first prizes in the Fourth University Timber Structure Design Competition held by Tongji University, Chongqing University and Canada Wood China (CW China) in December 2019.

The competition provided an excellent platform for young talents to contemplate the innovations of wood materials. Moreover, it strengthened university students’ understandings of timber structures and enhanced their abilities in applying theory to practice.

Twenty-five works from 15 universities in China entered the competition. Students majoring in civil engineering and architecture were asked to set up a team of three to six team members and design one timber structure for a public service centre (with a floor area of 400 m2) within a national forest park. Eight teams, including Tongji University, Nanjing Tech University, Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, Guangzhou University, reached the final competition.

Professor Frank Lam from the University of British Columbia and two Chinese professors, one from Nanjing Forestry University and the other from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, were invited to sit on the judging panel. The judges rated the projects based on the following criteria: timber structure should be used for the main load-bearing system; architectural design is in harmony with the surrounding environment; design complies with national building codes; the design is economical and easy to build; and the building’s functional area can be integrated with high-tech equipment.

This year marked the fourth edition of the University Timber Structure Design Competition. Through the continuous efforts made by CW China and Chinese universities, the enthusiasm for wood designs has been further enhanced by both university lecturers and students, laying a good foundation in cultivating new blood for the industry.