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How concrete & steel elements are replaced with engineered wood for high-rise buildings


In recent times, lots of skylines have emerged which are made with concrete and steel. But Timber is gradually becoming popular as a renewable building material for high-rise construction as greater portion of timber is sequestering to carbon. The timber is treated as advanced and basic structural materials for high-rise buildings. Besides, wood is less harmful for the environment. Wood can also combat with fire as huge timber sections contain inherent fire resistance capabilities.


In a recent study, it has been detected that the application of steel provides three per cent of man's greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time concrete produces over five per cent. Further, it is seen that a typical 20-storied concrete building releases 1,215 tonnes of carbon dioxide, while wood removes 3,150 tonnes of the gas for a net difference of 4,356 tonnes.


In order to make a cubic metre of timber, 15kg of carbon is discharged into the atmosphere though, that timber accumulates 250kg of carbon. So each cubic metre of timber eliminates 235 kg of carbon from the atmosphere. At the time of constructing the high-rise buildings, a cubic metre of steel discharges 5,320 kilograms of carbon into the atmosphere, a cubic metre of concrete emits 120 kilograms of carbon into the atmosphere and a cubic metre of aluminium emits an enormous 22,000 kilograms of carbon into the atmosphere.



Wide arrays of multi-storied wooden projects are being constructed all through the world and recently White House declared that it will provide a great support by arranging a competition. The United States Department of Architecture (USDA) has officially announced a Tall Building Competition in order to maintain sustainability in forestry and to focus on the acceptability of constructing wooden buildings. The competition was backed with a funding arrangement previously provided by the White House Rural Council together with the USDA, facilitating a climate-driven approach towards architects, builders and engineers to encourage them to utilize wood as a structural material.


There will be a project prize of US$2 million. The Softwood Lumber Board and Binational Softwood Lumber Council have provided their great support toward the project. The project was initiated to draw the attentions of US developers, institutions, organisations as well as design teams to take on a substitute solution approach for designing and constructing taller wood structures. The motto of the project is to recognize builders with projects in the concept, schematic or design-development state in the US that can signify the application of wood in high buildings.


One of the vital wooden project is the Treet project, which will go up 49 metres and cover 14 storeys. The project will integrate prefabrication by using wood in a high-rise building.


It is anticipated that the project will confiscate roughly 1,000 metric tons of CO2 in its wood construction. There will be clad in glass and steel to guard the wood from Bergen's damp climate.


Lots of high wooden buildings were constructed in British Columbia. In previous month, Green Firm created the design of the North America's tallest all-wood modern building which was opened in Prince George, BC. The $25 million Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC) was constructed to LEED Gold status and extended over 50,000 square feet. PCL Constructers Westcoast had built up the construction by applying 1,700 cubic metres of wood.


The WIDC is almost solely constructed with engineered wood components involving glulam columns and beams; cross-laminated timber (CLT) for the floor assemblies and core vertical panels whereas laminated veneer lumber (LVL) was utilized for extremely perceptible areas like the stairs and canopies.


Some significant high-rise building projects completed with woods in recent time.


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How concrete & steel elements are replaced with engineered wood for high-rise buildings

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