Skyscrapers Made of Wood and Glue
An Eighty-Story Wooden Building
Wood construction of multi-story buildings is an emerging trend. Mass timber is created by mixing wood with glue that’s then pressed, giving it the strength of steel and concrete. North America has 17 mass timber manufacturing plants. Some estimate the global market for engineered wood, which was $956 million in 2020, could grow at an annual rate of 13.6% through 2028.
In the US, 1,300 structures were built using mass timber from July 2020 to December 2021. Though the International Building Code limits wooden buildings to 18 stories, officials have made exceptions. Builders have submitted proposals in Tokyo and London for wooden skyscrapers as high as 70 to 80 floors.
Faster and Cheaper
Advocates of wooden skyscrapers argue the construction is better for the environment than traditional concrete and steel buildings and that the carbon footprint can be reduced by using sustainably harvested timber.
Experts say builders can reduce construction costs and finish projects more quickly when swapping wood for steel and concrete. An architect involved in the construction of a 20-story building in Sweden noted that the use of mass timber allowed them to complete the project a year earlier than if they went with traditional materials.
Safety and Environmental Concerns
While mass timber offers time and cost savings to builders and architects, some market observers have concerns, including the integrity of the material itself, and how it might hold up to water intrusion, the impact of an earthquake, or in a fire.
Environmentalists also fear that as demand grows, old growth forests may end up at risk, if and when sustainable sources are exhausted. The search for new sources of timber also means more fossil fuel usage, potentially damaging the environment. Still, forward-thinking types are intrigued by the idea of once tall trees being used in soaring skyscrapers.
Please understand that this information provided is general in nature and shouldn’t be construed as a recommendation or solicitation of any products offered by SoFi’s affiliates and subsidiaries. In addition, this information is by no means meant to provide investment or financial advice, nor is it intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision or recommendation to buy or sell any asset. Keep in mind that investing involves risk, and past performance of an asset never guarantees future results or returns. It’s important for investors to consider their specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile before making an investment decision.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. These links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement. No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this content.
Communication of SoFi Wealth LLC an SEC Registered Investment Adviser
SoFi isn’t recommending and is not affiliated with the brands or companies displayed. Brands displayed neither endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks and service marks referenced are property of their respective owners.