Breathing Wall Mass Timber Research Project

  • Overview

    Info

    Newbern, AL
    2019
    5th Year Project
    Campus

  • Project Team

    Anna Halepaska, Fergie Ferguson, Jake Elbrecht, Preston Rains

The Breathing Wall Mass Timber Research Project is part of a wider research project to investigate a more responsible building system, reducing environmental impact and energy usage through holistic design. Modern day building practices tend to abstract systems and materials into discrete categories—separating the building envelope (interior/exterior barrier) from ventilation systems, materials from energy costs. As a result, the embodied energy costs, from mining to manufacturing to shipping, are overlooked, and building systems don’t necessarily work well together.

Exploring alternative enclosure and ventilation systems
We want to design more responsible building systems that reduce environmental impact and energy use.

The team is challenged to integrate these concerns into a comprehensive system. Their research into Breathing Walls, in partnership with McGill University, marries enclosure to ventilation, yielding more moderate everyday energy usage. Using mass timber—a local and renewable resource—they will reduce embodied energy costs as it allows for the enclosure to function as structure, insulation, and finish. By reducing both everyday energy usage and the embodied energy of the materials and construction processes, they hope to contribute to the conversation about how holistic design can minimize a building’s environmental impact.

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