Wooden it be nice

Trees that reach the height of a ten-story building are not that uncommon. Ten-story buildings actually made out of trees — well, let’s see:

The proposed 10-storey Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George will become a test case for creating a value-added forest products industry around tall wood building construction methods that would differ radically from the way traditional mid-rise and even highrise buildings are constructed.

[Jobs Minister Pat] Bell told The Vancouver Sun that within 30 days, the province will seek qualified firms to design and construct the building out of engineered wood beam products instead of traditional concrete and steel beams. The province has already received 34 expressions of interest.

Vancouver architect Michael Green has done the math:

Green’s study says laminated wood beams and slabs — which can range up to 1.2 metres (four feet) wide, 18 centimetres (seven inches) thick and 19.5 metres (64 feet) long — have similar properties to concrete and steel and can be used to replace them in many cases. The resulting building would be lighter, comparable in cost and far more environmentally friendly than steel and concrete.

They would be more fire-resistant than wood-frame buildings, meeting the same requirements as concrete and steel buildings.

The current provincial building code limits wooden structures to six stories, so presumably an exception, or a permanent change, will be sought.

(Via OKC expat Sid Burgess.)

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