Wooden Skyscrapers Are on the Rise
June 1, 2022
Mass timber is an emerging trend for architects, developers and builders. This wood is glued and pressed in special ways to make it similar in strength to concrete and steel allowing it to be capable of replacing previous building materials, even for skyscrapers. Advocates of mass-timber maintain that it can be more environmentally friendly than conventional construction.
Here are some reasons mass timber is currently trending:
The carbon footprint of a building constructed with sustainably harvested mass timber, which is made from trees that are selectively cut rather than clear-cut, can be half that of a similar building made of concrete and steel, according to an assessment published recently.
In addition to potential environmental benefits, construction experts believe mass-timber buildings can cost less than concrete-and-steel structures--especially if they're sited near a manufacturing plant where pieces of the building are cut to order. With mass timber, for example, builders don't have to pour concrete and wait for it to set.
Requires Less Man-Power
Because wood is lighter, what might normally take 200 support piles for a similar concrete-and-steel building now only requires 100 support piles. Typically, pouring concrete floors requires 30 to 40 workers. Only 10 workers are needed to install the cross-laminated timber, or CLT, panels.
Built with Safety in Mind
To minimize the risk of fire, builders and architects are incorporating precautions into mass timber buildings, leading to more precautions than usual. Tests of a two-story mass timber apartment showed that it took longer to catch fire and retained its structural integrity longer than a similar wood-frame structure.