Wooden skyscrapers are going to make the world rock in the coming days. They have the potential to change the dynamics of building construction to a great extent. The biggest part, wooden skyscrapers can play is in the area of protection of the environment as it takes less energy to build as compared to concrete and steel. It also gives the structure a classic and elegant look, a real treat for eyes.

            The biggest myth surrounding a wooden project is that it is not efficient enough when it comes to fire protection. Japan’s Horyuji Temple, which was constructed in 607 CE is the concrete testament to the firmness of wood. The 122-foot-tall wooden structure has resisted fires, earthquakes, heavy loads, and more for over 1,400 years.

Japan Horyu-ji temple

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

            US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a $2m competition to demonstrate the viability of a new generation of wooden “ply scrapers.”

            Initially proposed by Vancouver-based architect Michael Green, wooden buildings offer a cheaper and greener alternative to more conventional steel structures.

              Sheets of cross-laminated timber (CLT), which is the kind of wood suggested by Green, are cheaply made, naturally renewable, and require less energy to produce than the usual suspects of concrete and steel, reports The Economist.

            “Cross-laminated timber can be used for emergency shelters, to rebuild communities after hurricanes or floods, and by the Department of Defence to rebuild barracks. There’s even infrastructure that could be built with this,” says Mr. Vilsack, America’s secretary of agriculture

            Different parts of the world like Canada and couple of cities in Europe are showing interest in constructing large wooden buildings, mostly considering the environmental and economic viabilities.

            By some estimates, the near-term use of CLT and other emerging wood technologies in buildings 7-15 stories could have the same emissions control affect as taking more than 2000 cars off the road for one year!

            In terms of energy, the energy required to produce the wooden structure for a design is seven times lesser than the traditional concrete method for the same design.

            According to a study, it is feasible to build a 125m-high skyscraper made (mostly) from mass timber products. It is economically competitive and could reduce carbon footprint by up to 75%! In the near future, if we could make this happen, it will be a great testimony to the effort of saving the mother nature.

            Do listen what Michael Green has to offer to the world by implementing wooden projects:

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