World Architecture Festival and PEFC unveil finalists for Best Use of Certified Timber Prize

Photo: Ben Guthrie/Brett Boardrman, KIE, Scott Burrows, Tim Hursley

A research centre, a flexible gymnastics centre, a healthy workplace, a climate-friendly retreat and much more: the World Architecture Festival (WAF) has unveiled the eight finalists for this year’s Best Use of Certified Timber Prize, supported by PEFC. The prize rewards architects and project teams that have used certified timber as a main construction material in an innovative, educational or artistic manner.

This December 2021, PEFC and WAF will award the prize for the third time.

Impressive projects from around the world

Architects and project teams from around the world entered their buildings into the prize, with PEFC receiving 22 projects. Eight projects reached the finals, six of which are from Asia-Pacific, and PEFC will be presenting them over the next two months. A brief overview of their projects are on PEFC’s website.

While all these buildings have their use of certified timber in common, their style and purpose vary widely, from higher education and research to community spaces and sports facilities, to name a few.

A unique construction material

The shortlisted projects are prime examples of the possibilities timber as a construction material offers.

“It is inspiring to see the large variety of buildings in the finals, benefitting from the use of certified timber in so many different ways,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International.

“While some of the architects chose timber for its flexibility and robustness, others appreciate its natural look and the positive effects it has for people, climate and the planet.”

Timber is not only a climate friendly material by storing carbon, but it is also robust and strong, and can withstand the most challenging natural conditions, such as typhoons, earthquakes and corrosive sea air.

The shortlisted projects also benefit from the flexibility in design that timber offers, as well as its functionality – from breathing façades to thermal and sound insulation.

The finalists will present their projects to a jury at the World Architecture Festival in Lisbon, Portugal, on 3 December. The jury will present the winner with the prize the same evening.