TUT hosts international green buildings expert to talk about environmentally friendly buildings of the future

The dire need for sustainable solutions to issues of pollution and climate change, has resulted in the Tshwane University of Technology’s (TUT) Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment (FEBE) hosting renowned green building expert, Prof Antonio Frattari, to present a lecture on Wooden Structures for Sustainable Environments at the Pretoria Campus.
Prof Frattari has developed interesting criteria for keeping buildings and nature in balance, these criteria entails: Exploiting energy free contributors, optimising energy consumption of buildings, using energy from renewable resources and using renewable, recyclable and recycled material.

The methods he suggested for the construction of green buildings have been developed over the past thirty years and include: the Log system, Timber frame panels, Timber framed panel system and Massive timber panels (Cross Laminated Timber). In addition to the benefits to the environment, these buildings take much less time to construct.

Prof Frattari has been a full professor since 1986 at the University of Trento’s Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering department, producing over 240 publications. He is Chief of the Laboratory of Building Design and Chief of the University Centre for Smart Buildings. He was also the Vice-Chancellor at his University from 2004 to 2008, his responsibility being that of construction projects. His current research is focused on sustainable, low-energy consumption buildings using renewable materials and innovative technologies, among others.

“Before the use of concrete, most of the world was using wood and relied on it for the construction of buildings. We ought to go back to that process, since we now know how to prevent the wood from being destroyed or weakened. This is the only way to create sustainable buildings that have no adverse impact on the environment,” said the Professor.

In conclusion Prof Frattari showcased various examples of massive wooden structures and even skyscrapers that have been built in London, Berlin, Denmark and Germany to name a few, some of which have up to 34 floors.

TUT and the University of Trento have also created a multidisciplinary partnership funded by the European Union (EU) through Professors Kupolati, from TUT’s Civil Engineering department, and Frattari and the University currently has two students in Italy developing their Master’s degree theses.

Erasmus+ is the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport. It will run for seven years, from 2014 to 2020, with organisations invited to apply for funding each year to undertake creative and worthwhile activities. It offers exciting opportunities for participants to then study, work, volunteer, teach and train abroad.

“We currently have two students studying abroad at the University of Trento who are doing their Master’s theses. We are so proud of the wealth of knowledge they will bring back to the University,” said a pleased Prof Kupolati.

Prof Kupolati added that he was very excited about the community projects in which the exchange students from Italy participate. He and his team have already started with community work projects to improve the standard of living in the Mahube Valley area in Mamelodi East and in villages around KwaNdebele.

In future, the Faculty and its partners intend to uplift more communities in the Tshwane area through internships where students will build 100% green buildings for the needy in impoverished communities, especially those communities where people are still waiting for RDP houses.

For more information about the project and the planned community upliftment, please contact: Prof Williams Kupolati, tel:  012 382 5227, mobile: 073 310 6085.

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Willa de Ruyter on tel: 012 382 5352 or send an email to deruyterw@tut.ac.za