Timberate | Rethinking housing with Timber


Timberate | Rethinking housing with Timber




Registration Deadline: 2nd August 2021

Submission Deadline: 3rd August 2021

Result Announcement: 30th September 2021




Human movement towards city areas has set off a huge shift of resources pooling in building construction around the world. This propels not only architects, but entire humankind to find sustainable ways to re-analyze construction in its life cycle and finding means to make it greener through its life.

No matter how much we hide, the construction sector is answerable for half of the world’s CO2 discharge. RCC based construction generates so much carbon not only while manufacturing, but it is very tough to discard construction waste post its lifecycle.

Can alternative natural origin ma­terials, for example, wood, can help change the course of global warming caused by excessive construction? Can wood be the real game-changer we had been always looking for?


Mass timber construction is fast, cost-efficient, it implicates less construction traffic and offers a high variety of solutions to complex design challenges. While it may not seem the most obvious choice for large-scale building, modern treating methods are opening new gateways to bring this material into the mainstream.

Pre-fabrication and technological advancement are reshaping the contemporary building typologies. and new spatial configuration can be developed for the future of the urban context.

The fact that timber is quite strong and weighs less than other construction materials, as well as that showcases sustainable and renewable characteristics, brings great opportunity for innovation.

With its acoustic and insulation properties, timber is an excellent material for energy efficient passive houses.

Mass timber structural performance and its lighter carbon footprint can be the answer to the future of wood architecture and the environmental impacts of construction.



The proposed challenge is the development of an innovative mass-timber compact urban housing with sustainable carbon free impact designed to be lightweight, minimal, and compact.

Primary focus on the design of a parametric and prefabricated timber building system for a two storey housing unit where it can be shown the potential for a modular building system for horizontal and vertical expansion.

Utilize digital fabrication technology to achieve high precision fabrication, for easy assembly / disassembly / expandable for upgrading / relocation / end of life recycling making it resilient and adaptable to the rapidly changing needs of society. The houses are expected to be machine manufactured and the design hence should be made in resonance to mass-fabrication.


Amsterdam is growing and building an economically strong and sustainable metropolis, expanding in all directions, now extending far beyond the city boundaries.

The City of Amsterdam is planning to increase housing density, to transform existing built-up areas and to integrate the public transport network to the green belt as well as to incentivize the development of attractive, high-quality public areas.

One of the main aims of this expansion is to make living accessible and affordable, regardless of income and family composition.

The theme of this challenge makes an excellent setting for finding this new equatability definition in the realm of housing stock through timber as a medium.


Maciej Grelewicz

Founder, Maciej Grelewicz Architects, Poland

David Correa

Assistant Professor, University of Waterloo, Canada


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