Council Presents Progress Report on Steel-Timber Research Project

to constructsteel Board



Slide presented to constructsteel board, 8 December 2021, representing composition of mass-timber high-rises over 7 stories, worldwide, as tracked by CTBUH.





The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat is engaged in a two-year research project, funded by constructsteel, the steel construction market development program of the World Steel Association.  The Future Potential of Steel-Timber Hybrid Structures research project, beginning in July 2021 and concluding in June 2023, is intended to capture the current state‐of‐the‐art and full potential of steel‐timber hybrid structures in high‐rise buildings, globally, as a means of clarifying the full benefits of steel‐timber hybrid construction for the tall building industry.


A key aim of the project is to identify use cases and perform life-cycle analyses (LCAs) on these cases, delivering numerous detailed examples of carbon emissions, recyclability, and constructability. The Council has made significant progress on the project. This includes the formation of the Steering Committee, which met on 21 September with more than 50 people in attendance from around the world, representing multiple related disciplines. Following the conversation, members of the board advised on case study project selection and the further development of the Steering Committee. 


“The whole point of this research project is to get to the data,

to get to the depth, beyond the anecdotal,”


- CTBUH CEO Antony Wood, at Steel-Timber Hybrid research project steering committee kick-off meeting.

The research team will be incorporating feedback from the kickoff meeting attendees into an action plan, to be delivered in Q1 2022, for the remainder of the two-year project. 

As part of the build-up in resources to support this effort, the Council has hired a Research Associate, Jacob Elbrecht, who will be one of the primary investigators on the project, including case study documentation and life cycle analysis (LCA). Elbrecht began working for the council on 11 October.


On 8 December 2021, CTBUH Assistant Director of Research & Thought Leadership Daniel Safarik delivered an update on the project to the board meeting of constructsteel. 


“With the rise in interest in mass timber construction for high-rises, it’s a given that other materials will need to be used in conjunction, in order to provide the needed structural stability,” Safarik told the board. Of the 137 complete, under construction or proposed tall timber buildings of seven stories’ or greater height currently being tracked by CTBUH, 10 percent are steel-timber hybrids. “There is clearly a market for expansion,” he said.


Additional, exciting news around the project will be announced in the first quarter of 2022—stay tuned.