Green Building: Wooden Skyscrapers

The reason that we at BuildDirect are contributing as best we can to the conversation about ecology and environmental issues on this Green Blog of ours is that we’re in an industry that has a long way to go when it comes to reducing carbon footprints. A big part of that is rethinking our processes, and even rethinking the kinds of materials to use to promote that new and sustainable direction.

We at BuildDirect also try to contribute to the conversation about urbanization, density, growing populations, and urban planning. This is because these areas are very much connected into the building materials industry, and to all of the issues mentioned above. too. The way we plan buildings has a definite knock-on effect on cities, and on lifestyles too.

To speak to all of this is a TED talk by architect and Vancouver resident Michael Green given this past February in Long Beach, California. It’s his position that we should connect the dots when it comes to all of these issues, and do so by relying on a material that may seem to be kind of counterintuitive when it comes to conservation, and ecologically friendliness – wood.

Take a look at this video to see how working with wood on a large scale, even in the construction of wooden skyscapers, can actually be beneficial to sustainable building and to the environment as well.

The thing that strikes me about this is that he mentions both the technical argument for wood as a green building material, but also the emotional attachment that human beings have with wood that keeps us connected to our world. When we are surrounded by a built environment derived from natural materials like wood, we are reminded of the value our natural world holds. When we spend time in a building made with wood, the distance between us and our natural world is lessened. That’s a point I never really thought about.

What are your thoughts on what Michael proposes? Can the benefits of wood be used on this scale safely and sustainably as he suggests?

Tell me all about it in the comments section!


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