Thursday, September 15, 2016

Answer: Probably Not Enough for a Skyscraper

Bloomberg: "An architectural rendering of a 1,000-foot-tall wood skyscraper proposed for London."
Question: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

The titular answer to the playful question is not so silly as it used to be.

The Economist: The case for wooden skyscrapers is not barking. Wood is lightweight:
There would also be less construction traffic. [Cambridge professor Martin] Ramage calculates that for every lorry delivering timber for a wooden building, five lorries would be needed to deliver concrete and steel.
Objection #1: Is wood strong enough?
there have been big advances in “engineered” wood, such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) made from layers of timber sections glued together with their grains at right angles to one another.
Objection #2: what about fire?
The concrete covering the floor was mainly for sound insulation, but it helps to deal with the second worry: fire. The concrete adds a layer of fire protection between floors....But with other fire-resistant layers and modern sprinkler systems, tall wooden buildings can exceed existing fire standards, reckons Benton Johnson, a project leader with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
Wood, with a little help from concrete, is strong, light, and fire-resistant.

It all looks good on paper, but the big bad wolf has yet to be heard from.

No comments: