If we made 90% of our new buildings from wood, we could reduce our global CO2 emissions and improve our wellbeing, an interesting thought.
For more on Plyscraper view this great video on BBC iPlayer:
A plyscraper is a skyscraper made (at least partly) of wood. They may alternatively be known as mass timber buildings.
Until 2017, the tallest habitable building made of timber was the 53-metre (174 ft) Brock Commons on the campus of the University of British Columbia near Vancouver, Canada. In 2019 the Mjøsa Tower in Brumunddal, Norway, was completed, taking over the title with its 85.4 metres (280 ft). Several proposals for taller timber buildings have been made, including a 350-metre (1,150 ft) tower in Tokyo.
The Mjösa Tower has completed in Norway’s Brumunddal, nabbing the title of world’s tallest wooden building in the process at 85.4 metres high.
The 18-storey structure sits right next to Norway’s biggest lake, Mjøsa and is designed by Voll Arkitekter. It’s constructed from Norwegian glued-laminated timber (GLULAM), cross-laminated timber (CLT) and laminated veneer lumber (LVL) from Metsä Wood. Concrete has been used on the upper seven floors to stabilise the plyscraper and prevent it from swaying in the wind.
Although quite high buildings can be made using cross-laminated timber, and/or other materials, building high with current techniques does have its drawbacks. For example, walls and columns get so thick then that the size of the usable interior space gets heavily reduced. This issue does not occur with shorter buildings.
Until recently, the plyscraper or wooden high-rise was considered an impossible flight of fancy. Timber is one of the oldest building materials, yet in the UK it has been mainly used for housing. The Great Fire of London in 1666 left a deep negative association between wooden buildings and fire. And, while wood does evoke feelings of warmth, it is prone to warping and twisting. However, recent innovation means that timber frames are now being used for high-rise and commercial projects too. There are hundreds of wooden framed projects under construction, with over 400 mid-rise buildings being built in Canada alone. Paul Fast of Canadian engineering firm Fast + Epp, which was responsible for Tallwood House at Brock Commons in Vancouver, for a time the tallest timber building proposal in the world, discusses whether plyscrapers will become mainstream and how soon. Then Ian King of Zeroignition explains how to mitigate fire risk and the latest timber innovations.
Timber skyscrapers are sprouting up across the globe, from Vancouver to Vienna. Are they strong enough? Will they rot? And won't they burn down?
When the Ingalls Building in Cincinnati, Ohio was unveiled in 1903, no one believed it would still be standing over a century later. In fact, it wasn’t expected to last the night.
The towering, 16-storey behemoth was the first concrete skyscraper in world history. Previously they had been made with burly metal alloys such as steel – concrete was extremely experimental. The media ran wild with speculation.
America’s next generation of skyscrapers could be made from wood. And that's welcome news for the environment.
Once completed, Framework will be America’s tallest wooden building and its first “plyscraper” — a high-rise building built with panels made of cross-laminated timber (CLT). These modular sheets are made from cheap, sustainable softwood that are glued or pinned together in layers — a bit like super-strong, super-thick plywood.
Posted on Wednesday 10 November 2021 at 11:09
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