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Architect Plans To Build A 30-Story Wooden Skyscraper
By Anthea Quay, 20 Mar 2012
First a wooden Starbucks, now a wooden skyscraper.
Vancouver-based architect Michael Green is planning to swap cement and steel for timber, to build a 30-story wooden skyscraper in Vancounver, Canada.
‘Tallwood’ would be made of large panels of ‘laminated strand lumber’—a composite made by gluing together strands of wood.
“We think we can go higher than 30 stories,” Green told CNN. “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 timber products.”
What made the architects think of using wood as opposed to the de rigueur steel and concrete? The environment.
“The real change came when we started thinking about climate change. Steel and concrete are great, but not environmentally friendly,” Green said.
Trees are a renewable resource, and they help to reduce air pollution. Sourcing from sustainably-managed forests could be deemed more environmentally sensitive, according to CNN.
Unlike concrete—which produces about 6-9kg of carbon dioxide for every 10kg of concrete—wood sucks carbon out of the atmosphere.
Wood is also cheaper and less time-consuming to construct.
“For the idea of tall wooden buildings to be viable they have to be cost effective,” says Green. “We can show that wood structures are dollar for dollar or cheaper compared to other buildings.”
And contrary to popular belief, wood actually is quite fire-resistant.
“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 said.
It seems as with the advancements in technology, many are going back to nature.
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