innovation in architecture: building with paper tubes

SolarPunk is actually not about ‘innovation’ as such – but, rather, about using current technologies to better effect.

So, how about building with paper tubes?

The idea’s been around for some time:

Cardboard: From Industrial Workhouse to Shigeru Ban’s Master Material |

Shigeru Ban, who has been celebrated for his socially conscious architecture, says, “I have no interest in ‘Green,’ ‘Eco,’ and ‘Environmentally Friendly.’ I just hate wasting things.”

Shigeru Ban’s Paper Architecture | The New Yorker

And a Swedish company has gone really high-tech:

How can architects, designers and other actors involved in the industry contribute to sustainable design and net-zero architecture?

Simply put, the answer can be summed up in one word: innovation. Throughout the years, those from the design world have witnessed huge milestones in the construction sector, from digital fabrication to 3D technologies, more advanced construction techniques and improved manufacture processes. Therefore, they have acquired the necessary knowledge and tools to innovate, resulting in new, more-climate smart building materials and products. 

With this in mind, Swedish company Wood Tube, a member of the world leading bioeconomy cluster Paper Province, has launched a new innovative product that has recently entered its commercial phase: lightweight studs made of wood-based pulp. These are cost-effective, easy to work with and, above all, contribute to a more sustainable construction process – hence showing great promise in the mission towards net-zero architecture.

A stud is a vertical framing member which, traditionally made of timber or steel, forms part of a wall or partition. They hold in place windows, doors, insulation, utilities and other crucial building elements. Wood Tube, however, is made of a wood fibre that is chemically or mechanically reduced to pulp and is typically used in the manufacture of paper. 

To get more insight and understand how the idea came about, we spoke with Tobias Söderbom Olsson from Wood Tube. He shared that the product was born when its inventors, Kurt Härdig and Patrik Kämpe, passed a construction site while they walked in the city and noticed the amount of steel used…

Climate-Smart Studs Made of Paper: Wood Tube | ArchDaily

Here’s a good example of using paper tubes in ‘transitional architecture’:

The Cardboard Cathedral, formally called the Transitional Cathedral, in Christchurch, New Zealand, is the transitional pro-cathedral of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch, replacing ChristChurch Cathedral, which was significantly damaged in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The Cardboard Cathedral was designed by the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and opened in August 2013. It is located on the site of St John the Baptist Church on the corner of Hereford and Madras Streets in Latimer Square, several blocks from the permanent location of ChristChurch Cathedral.

The Cardboard Cathedral.Christchurch NZ | The Cardboard Cath… | Flickr