Wooden Skyscraper: This ain’t no ‘Little House on the Prairie’

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Source: Michael Green Architects

Canadian architect Michael Green is using the past to build our future by designing a 30-story skyscraper made of wood.

Green says: “We stopped exploring wood around 100 years ago (with the advent of steel and concrete); now we’re looking at a whole new system using mass timber products.” Green says that the modern wood materials have been around for around 20 years, but until recently they’ve been quite niche or used only in low-rise buildings. What has changes is the way in which architects and builders are thinking about using wood.

“The real change came when we started thinking about climate change. Steel and concrete are great but not environmentally friendly,” he says.

Initially it seemed to me like a ‘Rob Peter to Pay Paul’ type of situation. Yea concrete and steel aren’t great for our environment, but last I heard, chopping down trees weren’t the best option either. An article in CNN’s Eco Solutions coverage, Can wooden skyscrapers transform concrete jungles? assures that if the wood is sourced from sustainably managed forests (like those in Europe and North America), is can be more environmentally sensitive.

Ok, that’s great, but what about fires? “It may sound counter-intuitive, but performing well in a fire is something inherent in large pieces of wood, that’s why in forest fires the trees that survive are the largest ones,” Green says.

Let us know what you think…Is wood the new concrete?

Source: CNN

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