The Economist:The case for wooden skyscrapers is not barking

On 10 September 2016, the Economist published an article dedicated to wooden skyscrapers.

Overall, timber is praised as a viable and attractive alternative to concrete and steel:

“Wood has many attractions as a construction material, apart from its aesthetic qualities. A wooden building is about a quarter of the weight of an equivalent reinforced-concrete structure, which means foundations can be smaller. Timber is a sustainable material and a natural “sink” for CO2, as trees lock in carbon from the atmosphere. Tall steel-and-concrete buildings tend to have a large carbon footprint, in part because of the amount of material required to support them. Using wood could reduce their carbon footprint by 60-75%, according to some studies”

The article argues that the main concerns connected to building tall buildings with wood – such as its alleged weakness, risks related to catching fire, and woodworms and rot – are either exaggerated or downright unfounded. The one big ostacle  “to this wooden renaissance is regulation. Building codes vary around the world. In America cities can restrict wooden buildings to five or six storeys (about the height of a fire engine’s ladder). Exemptions can be made, however, and proponents of wood are hoping that as taller timber buildings emerge, city planners will adjust the rules.”

If interested in the article feel free to come to my office as I have a copy of The Economist. Alternatively, you can read it here:

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