TREETOP WALK NAMED OVERALL WINNER AT WOOD AWARDS

At a ceremony on the 23rd of March in Farmleigh House, Treetop Walk at Avondale was named the outright winner of Wood Awards Ireland 2022. Built by EAK Ireland Treetop Walks from home grown timber, the canopy walk in Co Wicklow beat off 14 shortlisted projects in construction and design. “Timber has the lowest embodied carbon of any mainstream building material and this is recognised internationally as architects are now embracing timber frame and ‘mass timber’ as the most innovative and lowest carbon building systems on the market today,” said Ciaran O’Connor FRIAI, State Architect and chair of the Wood Awards Ireland judging panel. “The innovative Treetop Walk at Avondale demonstrates what can be achieved using Irish grown wood. Wood is the inherent medium in all projects, from large-scale public buildings to small private dwellings and the diverse range of innovative projects entered, from furniture to sculpture.”

Treetop Walk at Avondale is a 1.4km wooden walkway rising gradually to 23m, close to the forest canopy and ending at a 38m viewing tower, which provides 360° views of the Wicklow landscape. The walk is designed to fit seamlessly into the wooded landscape. It combines recreation with education as the walk explores the various strata within the forest and forest canopy.

This complex structural and architectural projects showcases home grown timber. In all, 1,100 cubic metres of wood was sourced, which locks in 700 tonnes of carbon. The design elements of the viewing towers use glulam technology made from Douglas fir. In the large-scale public building category, Beyond the Trees – Avondale designed by van Dijk Architects came out on top, the first project in Ireland to use home-grown C16 (a strength standard) Sitka spruce timber for glulam structures.

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Michael McDonnell Managing   Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine & Plan Magazine

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