The future of skyscrapers could move away from concrete and steel, to a surprising alternative: wood. Architect Michael Green envisions wooden skyscrapers as an option for some of the most sustainable super-structures in the world, and not only has he designed a concept for a 30-story tower in Vancouver, he’s also produced an instruction manual on wooden skyscrapers for other architects and builders.
The ‘Tall Wood’ tower came about as the result of an inquiry into the viability of ultra-tall wooden structures. Part of a small group of ‘woodscrapers’ proposed for various cities from Norway to Australia, this concept was inspired by the difficulty and environmental cost of shipping skyscraper materials from all over the world.
The Tall Wood building is made from laminated strand lumber rather than steel. Think a wooden tower wouldn’t be as strong or safe as steel? Think again – the way these beams are produced results in an extremely structurally sound material that can stand up to fire even better than conventional metal building materials.
Because of Green’s generosity, this concept could take off quickly. The architect has published the results of his research in an open source paper, so other designers and builders can get started on projects of their own.