The growing importance of large-volume timber construction in European metropolitan areas leads to the investigation of a possible optimization potential in the use of timber in combination with other materials. This results in further investigations to gain synergies from a combination of the individual composite systems. For this reason, different types of combined timber composite constructions are developed and evaluated with regard to structural implementation and environmental optimization. Through a suitable combination, a construction-optimized design with increased resource efficiency can be achieved both at the component level and at the level of the overall structure.
For a holistic ecological assessment of building structures, the whole life cycle of the construction system needs to be investigated. Sustainable recycling means employing the materials used for the construction and operation of a building after the initial use for a new purpose. In a progressive design process, recyclability of the materials has to be considered in the planning stage of construction projects. If possible, recyclable components or already recycled components should be used. The factors separability and absence homogeneity are particularly decisive for the assessment of the possible recyclability of materials. For this reason, various life cycle phases and exploitation scenarios beyond the production phase of the building materials (“from cradle to gate”) are evaluated. Especially the timber-wood lightweight concrete glass-façade, developed and further investigated at the research department "Structural Design and Timber Construction" at the Vienna University of Technology, is set in context to standardized exterior façades to demonstrate a sensible design process regarding recyclability, resource efficiency and ecological advantages.
In addition, the thermal behavior is assessed in multiple studies. In the process, different construction methods, including timber, reinforced concrete and brick construction, are investigated and impact factors such as the orientation and size of the windows, the total solar energy transmittance of the glazing and solar shading devices are evaluated.