By George Harvey
Officials in Portland Oregon have approved what will be the tallest wooden building in the United States. The Framework building will have eleven stories.
Michael Green, an architect in Vancouver who has been pushing wooden construction for years, explained that part of the reason for using wood instead of steel and concrete is that wood has a much lower carbon footprint. In fact, according to Green, using wood lowers a building’s carbon footprint by as much as 75%
Wood also has a number of other advantages over building materials commonly used in the twentieth century. Wood sequesters carbon, where steel and concrete use massive amounts of energy. Wood is nearly as strong. Also, believe it or not, there are advantages to wood in fires; in a fire that chars wood, steel will fail altogether, because it can lose all of its structural integrity.
Another advantage to wood is that engineered lumber can be had just about any size and shape that can be transported.