Engineers and architects across the globe are building revolutionary skyscrapers from one of the most renewable and sustainable materials known to mankind . . . wood. There are those who believe that building tall buildings with modern alternatives like steel, glass and concrete is safer and more economical. However, when it comes to emissions typically associated with tall buildings, wood provides a low-carbon, low-energy alternatives. Tall wooden buildings are likely to play an increasingly important role in our carbon mitigation strategies. Recent work suggests that shifting to wooden construction could act as an ever-increasing carbon sink, allowing more and more carbon to be sequestered safely in useful applications. Wooden skyscrapers are not being built using the same 2×4 construction method usually associated with single or multi-family home construction. Instead, the tall building is being built using mass timber construction, which is derived from the old technology of post-and-beam construction, but uses advanced technologies, including cross-laminated timbers (CLT) and laminated veneer lumber (LVL), which feature layers of wood bonded with adhesives and produced as either beams or panels. While some concrete and steel may be used around elevator shafts or stairwells in mass timber construction, but floors and beams may be made entirely of wood.
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Wooden skyscrapers could transform construction by trapping carbon emissions