COST Action CA20139

COST Action CA20139, Holistic design of taller timber buildings (HELEN)

12.10.2021 – 11.10.2025


With the worldwide construction sector being responsible for one third of carbon dioxide emissions, as well as forty percent of the world’s energy use and waste production, a shift to sustainable and renewable construction techniques is crucial. Engineered timber, champion of the sustainable construction materials, has evolved to a stage that enables the construction of not only family housing but also taller buildings commonly built from concrete or steel. Unfortunately, designing taller buildings made from timber is more demanding than their concrete and steel counterparts. Whereas different designers (architects, structural, fire, acoustic engineers etc.) of concrete buildings can work almost independently, the design of taller timber buildings should be performed with intensive collaboration among the design team members. I.e. the acoustic insulation principles currently used in timber buildings are completely contrary to the design demands originating from wind or earthquake loading. This is just one case, unfortunately the list of design collisions is very long. It is therefore crucial to address taller multi-storey timber buildings from a collaborative and interdisciplinary perspective, considering static, dynamic, fire, acoustic, human health and other aspects in parallel and not in isolation. Only through interdisciplinary analysis and interaction can a set of holistic design guidelines be developed that will enable safe construction of taller timber buildings, as well as respect human wellbeing demands. This Action aims to achieve that through intense interdisciplinary work and interaction between different design backgrounds, as well as between academic and design professionals.


The HELEN COST Action brings together stakeholders from multidisciplinary backgrounds: industry, SMEs, academia, research institutes, governmental organisations and NGOs from Europe and other continents.

The main objective of the HELEN COST Action is to foster international interest and effort in developing a shared understanding and deriving common guidelines for the Holistic dEsign of talLer timbEr buildiNgs. The synergistic HELEN network is formed by a large group of experts from a wide field of the built environment sector, where researchers and industrial partners can exchange knowledge and skills that have historically been isolated to individual research fields. This will be carried out through the sharing of technical and scientific skills from the different and diverse research profiles within the network as well as their research facilities.

Romanian research team:

Politehnica University Timisoara: Marius MOȘOARCĂ, Mihai FOFIU, Bogdan-Liviu ISOPESCU, Alexandra-Iasmina KELLER, Iasmina ONESCU, Cristina-Maria POVIAN, Valeriu STOIAN

“Petru Poni” Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry of the Romanian Academy: Carmen-Mihaela POPESCU, Bianca-Ioana DOGARU, Maria-Cristina POPESCU

Technical University Cluj: Călin MIRCEA

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