Architects are rediscovering wood as an excellent building material for urban spaces. In just the past months, the two tallest wood buildings in the world were built, one in Vienna, Austria and the other in Brumundal Norway. Plans are currently underway for a skyscraper in Tokyo. Johannes Konneth, a professor who teaches at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU)Institute of Wood Technology and Renewable Materials, in Vienna, says there is much to be said for this building material. Using timber allows you to build faster and more efficiently and more environmentally friendly. Konneth explains that at the moment, the most common building material is cement – and as such, concrete. Its production process consumes large quantities of fossil fuels and releases vast amounts of CO2. Wood, on the other hand, is derived from CO2 from the atmosphere, sunlight, and rain. Conversion from trunk to plank and finally to the finished material requires less energy that is generated from fossil fuels. Wood would thus be a more efficient building material and could cut CO2 emissions considerably.
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Intelligent wood could become the urban construction material of the future