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Can wood be urban?

Ivo Tomas Casadio De Barba

Can wood be urban?

Rel. Roberto Giordano, Michele Cerruti But. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Per Il Progetto Sostenibile, 2023

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The aim of this thesis is to explore the extent of sustainability of wood as a possible building material for an ecological transformation of a city. The very hypothesis is that timber construction solutions, at an urban scale, are a critical tool in the global effort to mitigate climate change, by turning dense urban cities into a continuous "carbon sink" that functions alongside the capacity of forests that are its renewable source. Together with this, the second hypothesis of this work is that timber construction and wood are not sustainable per se and that the extent of their sustainability when applied to urban building technologies shall be inquired and possibly modelized. Such an inquiry and modelization may in this sense be not only interesting in terms of research of wood but also useful in terms of urban strategies planning, since it may provide a set of quantitative and qualitative indicators that could frame the planners' choices and size the specific guidelines each strategic plan states. The thesis is divided into three parts. The first one, "Wood," explores the relationship between forests and humans by pointing out not only some emergent aspects of its evolution and geographies, but also delving into the processes of timber production (Making trees artificial), and more specifically, the wood benefits in terms of carbon footprint. The second and third parts are instead more specifically focused on wood as a building material for cities. While the second part provides some examples of the use of wood on different urban scales, the third one tries to inquire into the very research question of the thesis: Can wood be urban? To deal with such a complex and hard question, the research proposes not a complete and defined modeling, but a synthetic model, focusing on a specific wood technology (timber construction) on a specific case study (the urban transformation zones defined by a Greener Transition Urban Strategic Plan) in a specific context (the city of Turin). Such a model provides these main guidelines: Timber sustainability is related to the geographical availability in terms of quantity, typology, and proximity. Wood sustainability depends on the system of production, distribution, and infrastructure of timber, which means CO2 emissions. Timber sustainability depends on CO2 absorption capacity while in use. Such a balance between availability through time and space, plus CO2 emissions and absorption is the rough evaluation model explored by this work. The thesis tests this model on the pilot case of Turin: after exploring its planning strategies for a supposed green transformation, it defines an archetype intervention and its Urban Transformation Zones (ZUTs) and applies the model to a project sample. Far away from defining wood as a perfect solution for cities, the thesis explores critical and technical tools for making aware choices in planning and architecture.

Relators: Roberto Giordano, Michele Cerruti But
Academic year: 2022/23
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 131
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Per Il Progetto Sostenibile
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-04 - ARCHITECTURE AND ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/25992
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