And Now For Wooden Skyscrapers

October 11, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

The Economist writes that we might soon return to an age of wooden buildings:

  • Wood buildings are about a quarter of the weight of concrete buildings.
  • While wood is more expensive than concrete as a building material, once you factor in the lower cost of transporting the lighter material, it comes out to be about even.
  • Wood is better than concrete for the environment – wood traps carbon. In fact, a wooden structure could reduce a building’s carbon footprint by up to 70%.
  • Advances in materials engineering help ensure that a wooden building could stand up to modern fire safety codes.
  • Skyscrapers are typically built in densely populated urban centers. Wooden buildings would allow for a much quieter construction site.
  • Lumber can more easily be carved and shaped, giving architects a broader horizon for creative expression.
  • There is currently a proposal for an 80 storey, 300-meter wooden skyscraper in London (pictured).

Read more about the future of wood as a building material at The Economist.