Building sustainable cities with wooden skyscrapers

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https://www.economist.com/science-and-te...kyscrapers

EXCERPT: More than half the world’s population dwell in cities, and by 2050 the UN expects that proportion to reach 68%. [...] Such a construction boom does ... bode ill for tackling climate change, because making steel and concrete, two of the most common building materials, generates around 8% of the world’s anthropogenic carbon-dioxide emissions. If cities are to expand and become greener at the same time, they will have to be made from something else.

[...] wood is one of the most promising sustainable alternatives to steel and concrete. It is not, however, everyday lumber, chipboard or plywood that is attracting the interest of architects. Rather, it is a material called engineered timber. This is a composite of different layers, each designed to meet the requirements of specific components such as floors, panels, cross-braces and beams. Besides engineering the shape of a component, designers can align the grains in the layers to provide levels of strength that rival steel, in a product that is up to 80% lighter. Engineered timber is, moreover, usually prefabricated into large sections of a building in a factory. That cuts down on the number of deliveries that have to be made to a construction site.

All this makes a big difference to carbon-dioxide emissions. [...] A family-sized apartment requires about 30 cubic metres of timber, and he estimates Europe’s sustainable forests alone grow that amount every seven seconds. Nor is fire a risk, for engineered timber does not burn easily... (MORE - details)
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