VANCOUVER, British Columbia – “The Case for Tall Wood Buildings” report released this week validates the use of mass timber products as a viable structural building material option in tall-building construction. Commissioned by the Canadian Wood Council, the report highlights wood products' ability to offer flexible tower construction, meet building codes and be price competitive with other building material options. These attributes, combined with responsible and sustainable harvesting of natural resources, make wood a cost-effective, practical and responsible material for structural use in mid-rise and tall buildings.
FFTT, a new open design methodology for designing and constructing buildings is introduced in the study. FFTT uses mass timber panels as a primary structural material to achieve building heights of up to 30 stories and open plans that accommodate diverse architectural forms. FFTT also promotes the use of sustainably harvested wood, which helps address climate change issues currently facing the construction industry. Mass timber used in FFTT provides benefits over traditional light wood frame techniques, including stronger fire, acoustic and structural performance. It also offers scale, material stability and construction efficiency.
"The report describes a new structural system in wood that is the first significant challenger to concrete and steel structures since their inception in tall building design more than a century ago," said Michael Green, principal at Michael Green Architecture and co-author of the report. "The market for these ideas is quite simply enormous. The proposed solutions have significant capacity to revolutionize the building industry to address the major challenges of climate change, urbanization, sustainable development and world housing needs."
Architects and designers are more frequently exploring options to utilize wood in low-, mid- and even high-rise building construction due to its advantages in terms of material, construction and environmental costs. North American building codes coupled with advances in wood science and building technology have expanded options for wood construction in mid-high rise building construction. Wood can be locally sourced and is usually less expensive than alternative building materials. In addition, wood offers design flexibility, making it suitable for a wide range of building types and applications, both structural and aesthetic. Using certified and sustainably grown and harvested wood can result in less environmental impact that other construction materials. Unlike other products that deplete the earth's resources, wood is the only major building material that grows naturally and is renewable.
reThink Wood is a coalition of North American wood industry representatives and forest landowners that aims to raise awareness for wood use in construction. The initiative is supported by organizations such as Forestry Innovation Investment, the Forest Products Association of Canada, U.S. Woodworks, American Wood and the Canadian Wood Councils. Visit www.reThinkWood.com to learn more about the performance, cost and sustainability benefits of wood.
The Case for Tall Wood Buildings report can be found at http://www.wecbc.ca/demonstration_projects/portfolio/26.php