How Viable and Practical Are Wooden Skyscrapers?

Could wood soon replace concrete and steel?
Loukia Papadopoulos

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Skyscrapers are giants of engineers that hover over us reminding us how far human ingenuity can go. However, they are not the most eco-friendly builds as both concrete and steel, their staples, can be highly polluting.

What if there was a more environmentally friendly option? Wooden skyscrapers are starting to rise up across the world offering many eco-benefits.

There's the 85 meter-tall (280-foot), Mjøstårnet tower with 18 stories, set in a small Norwegian city, that became the world's tallest timber building when it was launched in 2019. The building used a type of engineered wood called cross-laminated timber
or CLT.

Meanwhile, in Vancouver, Canada, there is a 174-foot-tall (53-meter) wooden student residence and a "hybrid" condo complex that boasts a timber frame. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a 72-meter-tall (238-foot) wooden apartment block, Ascent, has been slowly emerging and in Vienna, a mixed-use development called HoHo is being constructed.

All these buildings use timber as their foundation and those who build them claim the wood results in quicker construction times, stronger buildings, and even safer outcomes in the event of a fire. Could this really be true? Could timber ever replace concrete and steel? Watch our video to find out more.

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