Salman Shahid

Wood - A sustainable building material for future skyscrapers

Blog Post created by Salman Shahid Partner on 31-Mar-2018

Though looks skeptical to most people (especially Trumpified ones ), but here is a brief documentary by The Economist about the prospective use of wood as a sustainable building material.


It is anticipated that more than 6 billion global population will live in urban areas by 2050. To cope their residential and commercial needs, the city management authorities should have to build skyscrapers. The usual practice is to construct high rise buildings with concrete and steel (steel having malleable properties and the cohesion of concrete and steel reinforces the strength to the building). Besides a building having full life cycle energy consumption profile tarnished with carbon footprint, concrete and steel have huge carbon footprint for its life cycle as well. 


Though the history has a lesson of the famous London 1666 fire (reason of start of fire is surrounded by conspiracy theories) which engulfed wood buildings; R&D on manipulating the basic properties of wood has made it possible to now use it as a construction material. A study showed that using wood to construct a 125 m skyscraper could reduce the buildings carbon footprint by 75%. The researchers have developed a cross laminated timber (CLT). CLT is light and have properties comparable to steel. Its fire avoidance properties is demonstrated in the video given in the link below.


So what are your thoughts about use of wood as a sustainable material?


Wooden skyscrapers could be the future for cities | The Economist - YouTube