Mass Timber: Towards the next building revolution | Keynote Pablo van der Lugt

The building industry contributes to 40% of global CO2 emissions and consumes 44% of all materials worldwide.

Yet in the essential transition towards a more bio-based, circular economy there are tremendous opportunities for mass timber (CLT, glulam, LVL, etc) to directly substitute non-renewable, CO2 intensive materials such as concrete and steel in the bearing structure of multi-story buildings. Learn in 25 minutes about the latest innovations in mass timber, based on the best case studies from all over the world (including full-timber skyscrapers!).

Also the largest myths about building in mass timber (fire safety, durability, costs, availability of forests, etc) are dispelled based on latest insights. For the full story behind the stats and graphs, including scientific background, is referred to the international best-selling timber book Tomorrow’s Timber (

About the speaker: Architectural engineer Pablo van der Lugt (MSc PhD) is senior sustainability consultant in the wood- and bamboo industry as well as senior lecturer biobased building at Delft University of Technology (Environmental Technology & Design) and AMS Institute. He is also visiting professor at Zhejiang A&F University in China.

He is the author of 5 books on biobased building, including Tomorrow’s Timber and Booming Bamboo (, besides dozens of articles in scientific journals and popular magazines.

Note: this TED style talk was presented as part of a series on the future of timber building by independent cross-sectoral cultural platform Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam (

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