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Centre for Digital Built Britain


Our research programme aims to unlock the potential of timber for use in off-site manufactured large-scale school buildings. With the overall goal of transforming timber construction through digital design and manufacturing, this project will : 

  • develop timber building procurement models that leverage the vertical nature of the timber industry and CDBB’s expertise in novel contract development. 
  • define digital workflows that are available to a wide range of architects, engineers and contractors which are compatible with engineered timber, robotic cutting, and offsite manufacture but onsite assembly. 
  • design school building components that fit into those workflows and are engaging to architects (otherwise they won’t get used). 
  • show the policy and pragmatic advantages of modular, large-scale timber. This will take the form of evidence-based papers and research-based designs. 

Next Steps

By integrating design, technology, engineering and fabrication through research we will: 

  • develop a range of school designs and the digital means of fabricating them, 
  • develop the basis for manufacturing that can take design input using our research from multiple architects, engineers, and contractors, and 
  • influence policymakers and procurement to ensure the adoption of timber more broadly. 

Project Status




Koronaki, A. (ed) 2020. Towards carbon free construction: Cultivating and manufacturing our homes. Centre for Natural Material Innovation, University of Cambridge. Cambridge, United Kindom.