Riccardo Pedroni is participating in the debate about the timber structure project Kaj 16
Kaj 16, centralområdet, bridge

The advantage of timber is its capability to tackle the climate emergency

Riccardo Pedroni is an associate structural engineer in High-Rise Buildings Sector at Ramboll. At Build in Wood 18-19 may, he is participating in the debate “Kaj 16 – The right solution for the specific project”. In this debate, you will learn how this timber structure project developed from the beginning. You will hear about the brief from the developer, the vision from the architect, and the studies from the engineer. Furthermore, you will hear why the solution for this specific project ended up as a timber-hybrid structure.

In this article, you can read an interview with Riccardo Pedroni.

What is your background and how do you and your company work with wood? 

My background is a specialism in High Rise buildings. I have been based in Milan, London and Singapore before moving to Copenhagen. As a side interest, I always like timber as a construction material and participated in projects in London and Singapore. Ramboll is an industry leader when it comes to timber design so when I moved to Copenhagen we started pushing the timber agenda further in the Nordics.

Riccardo Pedroni, associate structural engineer, High-Rise Buildings Sector, Ramboll

What do you like about wood as a building material? 

Timber is a great material offering so many different opportunities to the architect, designer but even more to the end user! As a designer, I like it because it really reduces weight (and therefore foundations), it is fast to install and reduces waste. The main advantage of timber is its capability to tackle the climate emergency we are in by avoiding emissions coming from other materials such as concrete or steel as well as absorbing and storing CO2 during its lifetime. As a user, the first time I steeped in a timber building, I was so pleasantly impressed of the perfume and the sense of tranquility wood construction emanates.

What are the biggest dilemmas within wood construction right now?

I would say mainly 3: cost, insurances and regulations. The first topic affects all other materials in a period of uncertainties like now, and I would also add that the advantages in terms of construction time and waste avoidance can balance off the higher CAPEX. Insurances and regulations are something we as designers, producers and developers need to be all aligned and work together: Insurers and regulators must feel comfortable with the technical solutions so more testing, more documentation and more work need to be done to get timber on the same level of acceptance as the business-as-usual materials.  

How do we get more wood construction in Denmark?

Denmark is a front runner in the current climate crisis fight. It is more and more common knowledge that we have 50/50 chances to limit global warming to +1.5-2.0 degrees until 2030, so it is clear that we need to focus on the here and now. Timber offers a great opportunity in this sense as it stores carbon while standing as a building. We need more Architect proposing this as a solution, we need more designers offering it as a new standard material of choice, we need developers valuing it alongside the improved user’s wellbeing, but this might not be enough, we also need local plans, municipality and regulators demanding more projects in timber based on the examples of cities such as Paris, Amsterdam or Singapore.

Kaj 16, centralområdet, streetview

You are participating in the debate “Kaj 16 – The right solution for the specific project”, why is this debate important?

We have the unique opportunity to have the developer, Vasakronan, the architect, Dorte Mandrup, and the engineer, Ramboll, in the same conversation. I hope that across the three speakers, we will convey that timber has been the best choice for our site. The choice of the material, and the design more in general, must be related to the location, the people, the interfaces with the surrounding. We have applied place-based thinking for Kaj 16 keeping in mind a global need for more and more projects like this.

Do you want to hear more from Riccardo Pedroni?

Join us at Build in Wood 18-19 may. You can read more here and sign up here.

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