Steel-Timber Research Project Kicks Off with First Committee Meeting

21 September 2021



CTBUH held the initial kick-off meeting for the research project The Future Potential of Steel-Timber Hybrid Structures, kindly funded by constructsteel. View a recording of the full meeting here. Some 50+ professionals and academics from around the world participated in the call. CTBUH CEO Antony Wood set the scene for the research project, starting by introducing existing CTBUH mass timber initiatives.

Wood presented the impetus for conducting the research with the observation that, as mass timber becomes more broadly adopted in high-rise construction, it is clear that there will be a need to use other building materials to compliment and work in tandem with timber, particularly with regards to its ductility and light weight. He illustrated that many hybrid timber structures made use of concrete, due to its ubiquity, workability, sound attenuation properties, and conventional use in cellular, residential construction. But there is a tremendous opportunity for steel to be used in greater capacity beyond connectors, as is common today. The 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, constructability and cost implications of using steel in hybrid action with mass timber.

“The whole point of this research project is to get to the data, to get to the depth, beyond the anecdotal,” Wood said.

Following the presentation, a number of participants floated questions and comments that are expected to prove useful during the course of the project, which concludes in June 2023.

I think that, to pursue hybrid construction, it's all about steel and timber, not about concrete and timber... When we've done concrete and timber hybrids, it's been really problematic.
- Andrew Waugh, Director, Waugh Thistleton Architects

Others argued that the research project needed to more carefully pinpoint its targets before any absolute declarations could be made.

“I haven't seen a building yet that didn't have a concrete foundation,” said Don Davies, President, Magnusson Klemencic Associates. “You’ve got to use the right materials in the right location.”

At the call’s conclusion, next steps were outlined. These included:

  • Confirm sub-topics to study and data points to capture across case studies

  • Confirm contributing engineering companies to assist with structural scenario modeling / LCA

  • Confirm the case study list 

  • Outreach to teams involved for data and project details 

  • Confirm parameters of LCA study, scenarios and assessment platform(s)

  • Start LCA / extrapolate into broadly applicable data 

  • Interviews and other captures across experts on specific subjects

  • Contributions and peer review from Steering / Advisory Panel

  • Compile the CTBUH Technical Guide 



  • Chair: Jeff Spiritos, Manager, Spiritos Properties LLC, New York City, United States

  • Abbas Aminmansour, Associate Professor, School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, United States

  • Peyman Askarinejad, Founder, President & CEO, PAN Partners, New York City, United States

  • Terrence Busuttil, Director, constructsteel, Brussels, Belgium

  • Don Davies, President, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Seattle, United States

  • Ariane Dienstag, President and Founder, Ariane Dienstag sas, Paris, France

  • Ngai Keong Foong, Assistant Vice President, Design Management, Projects, City Developments Limited, Singapore

  • Michael Gerada, National Business Development Manager, Heavy Construction & Infrastructure, BlueScope Steel, Melbourne, Australia

  • Harrison Glotman, Project Manager, Design Engineer, Glotman Simpson Consulting Engineers, Vancouver, Canada

  • Tim Gokhman, Managing Director, New Land Enterprises, Milwaukee, United States

  • Dan Hagan, Technical Director (Modern Methods of Construction, UK), WSP, London, United Kingdom

  • Jeffrey Harper, Fire Protection Engineer, Jensen Hughes, Chicago, United States

  • Ray Hartshorne, Partner and Co-founder, Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, Chicago, United States

  • Michael Hopper, Associate Partner, LERA Consulting Structural Engineers, New York City, United States

  • Benton Johnson, Associate Director, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Chicago, United States

  • Leif Johnson, Structural Engineering Director, Structurecraft, Seattle, United States

  • Eddie Jump, Director, Thornton Tomasetti, London, United Kingdom

  • Jason Korb, Principal Architect, Korb + Associates Architects, Milwaukee, United States

  • Paul Kremer, Associate Professor, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia

  • Richard Lyall, President, Residential Construction Council of Ontario, Vaughan, Canada

  • Ethan Martin, Associate, DCI Engineers, Portland, United States

  • Phil McCormac, Senior Director, Development and Capital Projects, Ivanhoe Cambridge, Denver, United States

  • Ricky McLain, Senior Technical Director, WoodWorks, Washington, D.C., United States

  • Nick Milestone, Senior Vice President, Softwood Lumber Board, Belper, United Kingdom

  • Will Miranda, Research Manager, CTBUH, Chicago, United States

  • Grant Newfield, Principal, RJC Engineers, Vancouver, Canada

  • Lisa Ottenhaus, Lecturer in Structural Engineering, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

  • Jennifer Pazdon, Vice President, Cast Connex, New York City, United States

  • Simo Peltonen, Team Leader in Product Development, Peikko, Lahti, Finland

  • Lisa Podesto, Senior Business Development Manager, Lendlease, San Jose, United States

  • Shervin Reyhani, Technical Manager, Canadian Wood Council / Wood Works Ontario, Corbeil, Canada

  • Michelle Roelofs, Associate Principal, Arup, New York City, United States

  • Daniel Safarik, Assistant Director, Research & Thought Leadership, CTBUH, Chicago, United States

  • Kedir Sener, Researcher, Auburn University, Auburn, United States

  • Ro Shroff, Partner, 3Mix, Seattle, United States

  • May So, Associate Principal, Mithun, Seattle, United States

  • Tabitha Stine, Director - Construction Solutions Services Group, Nucor, Chicago, United States

  • Rainer Strauch, Chief Technology Officer, CREE Buildings, Bregenz, Austria

  • Solomon Tesfamariam, Professor, School of Engineering, University of British Columbia, Kelowna, Canada

  • Dario Trabucco, Research Manager, CTBUH, Venice, Italy

  • Khoa Vo, Engineer, Taylor Thomson Whitting, Sydney, Australia

  • Steven Ware, Partner, Art & Build, Paris, France

  • Andrew Waugh, Director, Waugh Thistleton Architects, London, United Kingdom

  • Antony Wood, CEO, CTBUH, Chicago, United States

  • Kai Yang, Mass Timber Project Manager, CadMakers Inc., Vancouver, Canada

  • Bin Zhao, Centre Technique Industriel de la Construction Metallique, St. Aubin, France