Auburn University Rural Studio

Rural Studio and McGill University publishes the collaboration’s first research paper

The Breathing Wall Mass Timber Research Project Team, alongside collaborators and colleagues Sal Craig, Kiel Moe, David Kennedy and Rural Studio’s own Andrew Freear, have officially published their work! The original research paper, entitled “The Design of Mass Timber Panels as Heat-Exchangers (Dynamic Insulation)” was published in the Frontiers in Built Environment journal. A culmination of two years of investigation and experimentation (see the blog here for more info), the article shows how to optimize mass timber panels as heat-exchangers and suggests how to pair panels with buoyancy ventilation.

The Breathing Wall Mass Timber Team and Sal Craig; the wonderful collaboration

Why is that important? The building industry is currently responsible for roughly 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions, with a significant portion originating from the production of construction materials like concrete and steel. Mitigating this climate crisis requires a fundamental shift in what and how we build. Mass timber heat-exchangers offer a potential alternative. Mass timber products are naturally carbon sequestering, and building responsibly with timber has the potential to store carbon in the global carbon sink of new building stocks. Designing panels to be multifunctional provides the opportunity to further multiply savings by suggesting how to eliminate fossil-intensive insulation while simplifying ventilation systems. 

How the Mass Timber Breathing Wall works

Mass Timber heat exchangers aren’t the only alternative – thermal mass is another example of this ‘radical integration’ – but the Mass Breathers and Co are excited to contribute to the conversation, and hope you will too! The article and data are all in the Creative Commons (thank you to MSSI for funding the license), and research is ever ongoing!

The Breathing Wall Mass Timber Research Project Team: Jake, Fergie, Preston and Anna

Celebrating successes,

The Mass Breathers

Soundtrack: Celebration | Kool & The Gang