Building skyscrapers out of wood


Here’s an interesting idea. Vancouver-based architect Michael Green proposes building 30-story tall skyscrapers out of wood, and it sounds like it just may work. Buildings made of wood are imagined to be fairly fragile, but with modern technology, wooden buildings may be a lot safer than you might think. From theatlanticcities:

Rather than building with two-by-fours, modern-day wood construction would be accomplished using state-of-the-art methods based on super-compressed mass timber panels – essentially giant, sturdy Lego-like assembly. The compression also contributes to protecting against fire, which Green concedes is the first question he gets when he talks about building with wood. These denser wood building blocks are actually difficult to burn – like a big fat tree stump in a fireplace – and would of course exist within the context of 21st-century fire suppression systems, including sprinklers.

Apparently, there are many advantages to building a skyscraper from wood. Regular skyscrapers account for 50% of greenhouse gases. Wood is free, grows naturally, and there’s a lot of wood we can harvest without chopping anything down – there are tons of dead trees lying around just ready to be turned into skyscrapers.

Sweden has approved a 30-story wooden skyscraper, and Vancouver is reviewing the paperwork for Michael Green’s building. Michael Green has a TED talk on the subject, and his website is all about wooden buildings.

All info via theatlanticcities.


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