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InnoRenew CoE hosted the 1st international conference for COST Action HELEN

This week, InnoRenew CoE hosted several international experts from more than 20 countries at the 1st international conference for COST Action 20139 — “Holistic design of taller timber buildings” (HELEN).

“The conference and meetings were a great opportunity to discuss new methodologies for taller multistory timber buildings from a collaborative and interdisciplinary perspective, which is crucial to address climate goals,” Dr. Iztok Šušteršič, InnoRenew CoE research group leader and COST Action HELEN leader, said.

Taller timber building design represents a challenge as different design field demands can result in collisions. Hence, designs should be interdisciplinary, that is, holistic, and different professions should work on such projects collaboratively — this is HELEN’s main goal. As taller timber building construction becomes more frequent — and it will have to if Europe wants to achieve its ambitious climate goals — knowing how to collaborate and solve any design collisions will be crucial.

The conference featured lectures from Fernando Pérez, senior engineer at Smith and Wallwork who has experience in structural engineering and specializes in timber construction; Aleksandar Pavič, professor at the University of Exeter and an expert in vibration serviceability for slender civil engineering structures; Blaž Kurent, a doctoral student at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty for Civil and Geodetic Engineering; Simeon Anastasov, principal fire engineer at OFR Consultants; and Tiziano Sartori, founder and principal at Rewis Wood.

Speakers presented buildings like the Yoker Building, a seven-story CLT lightweight residential building; the Google European Headquarters, which features a natural theme with all materials sourced through Google’s healthy materials program; the Rovereto Building, which is integrating different project aspects into a nine-story CLT building; and the InnoRenew CoE building, which is the largest timber building in Slovenia.

Participants also held several COST Action HELEN management committee and working group meetings, where they disused the performed tasks and planned future activities.