Tree Frog Forestry News

Has the wooden skyscraper revolution finally arrived?

By Oscar Holland
CNN
February 13, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

…Advocates for mass timber claim that, compared to existing alternatives, these towers are quicker to construct, stronger and, perhaps most surprisingly, safer in the event of a fire. It may, however, be their green credentials that explain wood’s rising popularity in recent years. The construction and operation of buildings accounts for 40% of the world’s energy consumption, and approximately one-third of greenhouse gas emissions. But while concrete emits a huge amount of carbon, trees instead absorb it throughout their lifetime. If those trees are then turned into mass timber, that carbon is “locked in,” or sequestered, rather than returned to the atmosphere when the tree dies. …According to architect Michael Green, a longstanding advocate for — and designer of — wooden buildings, there are “a whole bunch of things converging right now.” But since his 2013 Ted talk, in which he predicted a coming “revolution” in timber construction, there has been one especially significant shift: cost.

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