Wooden skyscrapers: Sustainable homes of the future?

Researchers from Cambridge University’s Centre for Natural Material Innovation based at the Department of Architecture are working with PLP Architecture and engineers Smith and Wallwork on the future development of timber skyscrapers. Various teams around the world are hoping to produce the tallest wooden skyscraper, the research team from Cambridge have completed holistic work on three proposals for timber skyscrapers in London, Chicago, and The Hague. All three will be on show to the public at the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition 2019, freely open from July 1–7. The team’s exhibit—Timber Towers of Tomorrow—is the culmination of a five-year research project. The use of timber as a structural material in tall buildings has a variety of potential benefits; it is a renewable resource, unlike concrete and steel, it has reduced costs, improved construction timescales, increased fire resistance, significant reduction in the weight of buildings, and gives enormous psychological well-being to the inhabitants of cities that comes from being surrounded by wood as compared with concrete.


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