The Benefits of Building Taller with Wood
The construction and design sector is making steady progress when it comes to mass timber and taller wood buildings. Rigorous fire, seismic, and load bearing tests have led to changes in building codes that will soon go into effect in both Canada and the US that permit up to 12 stories and 18 stories respectively.
A case study for a mass timber tower in Seattle. Rendering © DLR Group.
Public policies on climate change and green building are increasingly calling for more sustainable ways to build up and increase density within urban environments, something taller wood construction is well suited to address. Governments, developers, and clients are beginning to see the emerging economic advantages of mass timber design and construction due in part to sustainable forest management, a shift in manufacturing and supply chains and new code legislation that “now render engineered wood as cost competitive with more conventional types of construction such as concrete and steel,” according to the case study Tall with Timber: Seattle Mass Timber Tower Case Study (2018) by DLR Group.