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This architect wants to build cities out of wood | Pioneers For Our Planet


I like to think about this as being a back to the future sort of story. It’s not a new idea to build in wood. My connection to wood, I think, came as a child hanging out with my grandpa. He used to always say to me that if you cut down a tree respect its life by turning it into something beautiful. Everything we do in my firm is entirely made of timber and ideally some sort of timber innovation that we hope is informing some sort of systemic change in the way we think about approaching the built environment. These are huge panel products they come in different formats that can be three metres wide and 12 metres long or even longer. These panels allow us to build big buildings which are important for our cities where we need to house a lot of people and employ a lot of people. Bringing this material that’s often thought about as some rural or suburban material into the heart of our cities with these bigger buildings. The material has been here for so long but really for the last century, we haven’t explored it as much as we are today. And that’s because steel and concrete came about and those materials were good at solving some of the problems. They just weren’t good at their impact from an environmental point of view. Wood unlike any other major material that we build with is a material that sequesters carbon that’s storing carbon effectively in the wood products. That incredibly important process is a carbon sink in the forest. But when a tree is taken and hopefully used in a beautiful way in a building that will last for ideally centuries that piece of wood is storing that carbon dioxide in the material for the life of the building. And that’s an incredibly critical part of the way we start to address climate. One of the fundamental opportunities with CLT is that it certainly uses a volume of wood that becomes this big carbon sink which is important. It also uses a kind of lower grade of wood, meaning we don’t have to cut down such important trees and we can produce and create a renewable solution in making these panels. There’s been this disconnect, I think for many people as we’ve moved and become increasingly urban around the world. We know that natural materials whether it’s parks, trees or wood products coming into an urban environment fundamentally make us much more healthy as a population and connect us back to this idea that we live in a natural world. I think the most important thing we can do is invest in really high-quality buildings or products that are really well-designed made out of really durable, enduring materials like wood. We absolutely have the right engineering solution the right sourcing opportunity and we can protect our forests in doing so.

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15 thoughts on “This architect wants to build cities out of wood | Pioneers For Our Planet

  1. How do you save by cutting more trees? I can't see the logic behind building with a material that termites can destroy in weeks

  2. It's not environmentally friendly. Your just replacing one problem with another. Upscaling this would be a nightmare, especially when illegal logging

  3. Oh boy..you mean back to the middle ages, trees are life, they keep us fed and warm and a few hundred other reasons..fond memories do not need to be transformed into burning cities of wood..

  4. I love all Saudi people.

    I love all Saudi Prince my brother.

    I love king Salman bin Abdul Aziz AL Saud my ankle.

    I love Saudi new crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz AL Saud my brother.

    I don't like Pakistan people.

    01 02 03 04 06 10 14 17 19 23 12 Thief.

  5. When you increase global warming because you deforestated to this extent, disaster will come for your building too Mr Architect

  6. Near were I live (Doubs, France), they are building about 20 individual homes: one (1) only made of wood. The country side is covered with forests.

  7. interesting points ,if anyone else trying to find out how to make money with woodworking try Bablim Woodwork Cash Booster (Have a quick look on google cant remember the place now ) ? Ive heard some awesome things about it and my mate got amazing success with it.

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