Finding the Forest Through the Trees: A proposal for wood-framed high-rise buildings

mgb ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN principal, Michael Green, makes the case for constructing high-rise structures using mass timber. Specifically, Green is leveraging the structural properties of cross-laminated timber (CLT) in his study of the feasibility of a 30-story wood-framed building.

Some time ago, a colleague of mine wrote an article about a 6-Story wood-framed condo building that was subjected to the world’s largest shake table test. Current building codes in the U.S. do not allow for wood-framed buildings that exceed 4 stories.

Below is an excerpt from Michael Green’s website that includes a link to download a copy of his research study for free. (When was the last time an architect gave you something for free?)

Wood is the most significant building material we use today that is grown by the sun. When harvested responsibly, wood is arguably one of the best tools architects and engineers have for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and storing carbon in our buildings. The Case for Tall Wood Buildings expands the discussion of where we will see wood and specifically Mass Timber in the future of the world’s skylines.

This report introduces a major opportunity for systemic change in the building industry. The work of thousands of scientists with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has defined one of the most significant challenges of our time. How we address climate change in buildings is a cornerstone in how the world will tackle the need to reduce emissions of green house gases and indeed find ways to store those same gases that are significantly impacting the health of our planet. In a rapidly urbanizing world with an enormous demand to house and shelter billions of people in the upcoming decades we must find solutions for our urban environments that have a lighter climate impact than today’s incumbent major structural materials. This report is a major step in that direction. Indeed it introduces the first significant challenge to steel and concrete in tall buildings since their adoption more than a century ago.

(Click here for full report)

Thanks to Lloyd Alter for directing our attention to this report: Tall Wood: Architect Gives Away Technology To Build Wood Buildings Thirty Storeys High