Towards the next building revolutionOur dependence on fossil fuels and materials born from cheap massive energy has led to climate change, pollution and environmental degradation of our planet. We have surrounded ourselves with toxins. We are chipping away at our relationship with the natural world and our fundamental need to protect it. We have cut down old-growth trees and depleted our forests in unsustainable ways for various missions unrelated to building, as we clear them for cattle, crops, development and fuel.

Our forests nevertheless still hold the answer. New wood products engineered from young-growth trees and sourced from truly sustainable forest practices are our path forward as city builders. Unlike the other major structural materials of steel, concrete and masonry, timber is grown by the power of the sun, stores carbon and is renewable.

With the invention of large engineered panels and elements called mass timber we can combine other engineered wood products into very large and tall buildings that are competitive in terms of performance and cost with concrete and steel.

In Tomorrow’s Timber, new timber innovations are explored, including the materials, products, elements and complete building systems, providing context for this emerging shift in design and construction. Inspiring case studies worldwide show that the mass timber revolution is happening as we speak. Tomorrow’s Timber contextualizes the challenges and how forests and mass timber can help solve our global problems by mitigating climate change while supporting the move to a less resource dependent, circular bio-based economy. Finally, the book tackles real mass timber design opportunities and challenges on building and site level, before providing a promising outlook towards the future.

Tomorrow’s Timber is an informative and important resource for those committed to restoring our balance with the planet while serving the necessities of humankind.

Michael Green (Tall timber pioneer)
Ted Talk

Table of contents

  1. Required transition to a bio-based economy
  2. Forests, forest products and climate change
  3. Wood basics
  4. Timber’s evolution – From past to present to future
  5. Designing and building with mass timber
  6. Future outlook – Tomorrow’s timber

Lead Author

Architectural engineer Pablo van der Lugt (MSc PhD) is senior sustainability consultant in the wood- and bamboo industry as well as lecturer biobased building at Delft University of Technology (Environmental Technology & Design).

In the vision of van der Lugt in the essential transition towards a more bio-based, circular economy there are tremendous opportunities for the next generation of regrowable materials (mass timber, modified wood, engineered bamboo, etc) to substitute carbon intensive, non renewable materials such as aluminium, steel, PVC and concrete.

Van der Lugt is the author of 5 books on biobased building, including Booming Bamboo (2017), also published by Material District, and regularly publishes his research findings in popular magazines and scientific journals.

Van der Lugt is a highly demanded speaker following several formats, ranging from TED and Pecha Kucha talks, to keynote presentations at high-level international conferences, including the International Climate Conference in Paris, COP 21 and COP 24 in Katowice Poland (2018).


Engineer Atto Harsta (MSc) is an independent innovation consultant for the building industry and architecture with more than twenty years’ experience, focused on contributing to a healthy and circular built environment.

Publication Information

ISBN: 978-90-82755-2-3-7
Paperback: 192 pages

Published: September, 2020
Available in: English

Edition: First Edition
Publisher: Jeroen van Oostveen


Tomorrow’s Timber

What we can do for you

Be amazed about what Timber can do for you! We are happy to share our knowledge and network with you towards a more sustainable world.

Tomorrow's Timber Lecture

Wood/bamboo expert Pablo van der Lugt has lectured all around the world. Next time at your event?

Tomorrow's Timber Exhibition

The curated MaterialDistrict Expo “Tomorrow’s Timber” could be the star of your show or event!

Timber Consultancy

Take advantage of the knowledge of Lead-author Pablo van der Lugt and/or Co-author Atto Harstra