Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/3/2011 (3756 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A study funded by the B.C. government to help promote the province's forestry sector will conclude that buildings as tall as 30 storeys could be made almost entirely out of wood, says an award-winning Vancouver architect leading the research.
Michael Green, who detailed his vision for the world's first "timber skyscraper" during a keynote address last week at a Green Cities conference in Australia, told Postmedia News on Monday that a provincially supported study due to be released later this month will show that such buildings can be cost-saving as well as both fire- and earthquake-safe, and that Canada is ideally positioned to lead an emerging global "race" to reinvent the highrise construction industry -- with wood challenging steel and concrete as the ideal building material.
"The exciting thing is, from an engineering point of view, we think we have something that is on track to be able to design -- comfortably -- 20 storey buildings," said Green, a partner in the Vancouver firm McFarlane Green Biggar Architecture + Design Inc.
"And certainly, we believe, quite reasonably, we'll be able to stretch that to 30 storeys."
A nine-storey building in Britain is currently the world's tallest wooden structure. Green said a 10-storey project in Australia, a 17-storey building in Norway and a 30-storey structure in Austria have been proposed recently.
The Green-led Canadian study is a "pre-feasibility" analysis of what could become the world's tallest wooden highrise -- a 12-storey structure envisioned for an undisclosed Vancouver location. The study is being funded as part of an initiative launched last year by B.C. Forests Minister Pat Bell.
"It is our understanding that based on preliminary research results, Michael Green thinks that it may be possible to build a 30-storey building using wood-hybrid construction," ministry spokeswoman Vivian Thomas told Postmedia News.
"We're looking forward to receiving and reviewing the results of MGB's research before deciding on next steps," she added. B.C. amended its building code in 2009 to allow six-storey wood frame construction.
In announcing the $1.75-million creation of the Wood Enterprise Coalition in April, Bell highlighted the province's particularly rich endowment of forest resources and pledged the seed funding "to promote the use of wood in commercial and institutional construction.
Vancouver's potential prototype wooden highrise would demonstrate the ecological benefits, economic value and structural strength of wood-based construction, Green said.
-- Postmedia News