Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Building Sustainable Skyscrapers from Laminated Veneer Lumber
Utne Reader / Conservation ^ | The November/December 2012 Issue | Sarah DeWeerdt

Posted on 11/23/2012 1:13:18 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

Some architects believe that in order to build the sustainable cities of the future, we need to look back to the log cabin era and build “skyscrapers” out of wood.

Just over a century ago, the architects and engineers who invented the skyscraper set us on the path to becoming an urban world. Tall buildings of concrete and steel helped make urban density—and the increased sustainability that comes with it—possible.

But the buildings themselves come at a heavy, and often hidden, environmental price. Concrete and steel are some of the most energy-intensive materials on the planet. The manufacture and transport of concrete, for example, is responsible for about five percent of global CO2 emissions, more than the entire airline industry.

Woodscrapers: Building Sustainable Skyscrapers

“When we talk about sustainability of buildings, we’re really tinkering around with the little minutiae”—a green roof here, a solar panel there, says Michael Green, an architect in Vancouver, Canada. “Those things are good, but they’re not even close to good enough.”

Green thinks that in order to build the sustainable cities of the future, we need to look back to the log cabin era. That is, we should be building skyscrapers out of wood. His design concept for a “woodscraper” is based on mass timber, a class of wood products that come in panels up to 64 feet long and eight feet wide. These materials, with names such as cross-laminated timber, laminated strand lumber, and laminated veneer lumber, look similar to plywood but are thicker and much stronger...

(Excerpt) Read more at utne.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Society; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: building; buildings; construction; economy

1 posted on 11/23/2012 1:13:25 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
Key word here is “Sustainable” This is unusually a buzz word used by the left for such things as Agenda 21
2 posted on 11/23/2012 1:17:35 PM PST by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Sustainability = Marxist BS. Just UN Agenda 21 grab for our Personal Land Ownership - don’t fall for it!


3 posted on 11/23/2012 1:19:32 PM PST by TNoldman (AN AMERICAN FOR A MUSLIM/BHO FREE AMERICA.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Dear Mr. Michael Green, sir,

Wood burns, dumb-ox.


4 posted on 11/23/2012 1:20:18 PM PST by spel_grammer_an_punct_polise (Learn three chords and you, too, can be a Rock Star!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
So how would a wooden sky-scrapper stand up to the 2 hour fire rule?
5 posted on 11/23/2012 1:20:24 PM PST by nomad
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

6 posted on 11/23/2012 1:20:38 PM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

There were other reasons behind the shift to largely steel and concrete construction for multistory buildings in high density areas.

Fire was the main one.


7 posted on 11/23/2012 1:21:18 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Concrete and steel are also among the most durable materials and therefore extremely green. The real issue is the feminization of the building trades which pushes this nonsense.


8 posted on 11/23/2012 1:24:30 PM PST by ffusco (The President will return this country to what it once was...An arctic wasteland covered in ice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Leaving out the so-called green advantages, how does wood construction compete with concrete and steel?


9 posted on 11/23/2012 1:25:11 PM PST by umgud (No Rats, No Rino's)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

How many trees need to be cut down for these “sustainable” woodscapers? The greenie wienies will never go for it.


10 posted on 11/23/2012 1:25:57 PM PST by Doomonyou (Let them eat Lead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nomad

They use formaldehyde and other wonderful chemicals to treat the wood.


11 posted on 11/23/2012 1:26:24 PM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Almost forget........how big a tent would be needed for termite control?


12 posted on 11/23/2012 1:27:27 PM PST by umgud (No Rats, No Rino's)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TheOldLady

Ping about my custom steps.


13 posted on 11/23/2012 1:28:19 PM PST by humblegunner
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: smokingfrog
Well, aesthetically speaking, it looks like a sloppy pile of broken down cardboard boxes. I bet it would shake like a wet dog in a stiff breeze, too.

Assuming those are apartments though, it might not be all that unpleasant a living area individually with all that outdoor space.

But, like the showy CGI renderings of the Boeing Dreamliner, all that space and gee-whiz stuff will give way to practical reality and economics. If built, they will not waste nearly that much of the building envelope on porches and verandas in the sky. That would be true no matter what method of construction used or the nature of the building materials.

14 posted on 11/23/2012 1:28:19 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: RegulatorCountry

I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.


15 posted on 11/23/2012 1:30:24 PM PST by shadeaud (We need to learn to know what our enemies are truly creating)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
Building Sustainable Skyscrapers from Laminated Veneer Lumber

Ignorance is bliss.
Morons are now running government, and begin making inroads into engineering and the sciences. And those will fail as miserably and totally as the government-by-imbeciles is working for us.

How many train wrecks can we tolerate at the same time?

Anyone with google can discover why "skyscrapers" were impossible before iron and steel, from the tower of Babel to the New York skyline.

Something to do with tensile and compressive ultimate strength of materials.

16 posted on 11/23/2012 1:30:44 PM PST by publius911 (Formerly Publius 6961, formerly jennsdad)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: smokingfrog

Large-scale “House of Cards”


17 posted on 11/23/2012 1:31:57 PM PST by mikrofon (Wood you believe?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

I guess “sustainability” has more to it than just re-cycling? I mean who is going to design a skyscraper to be torn down in any forseeable time-frame?


18 posted on 11/23/2012 1:34:01 PM PST by Tallguy (Hunkered down in Pennsylvania.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

I stopped at the point where high urban density is somehow sustainable...

??

Wall off a city and see how sustainable they are.


19 posted on 11/23/2012 1:36:04 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Oh. Plywood.


20 posted on 11/23/2012 1:37:45 PM PST by bigbob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

I would ONLY trust this if we get the wood from China.
Since we can no longer use their premium sheetrock./sarcX10


21 posted on 11/23/2012 1:38:21 PM PST by supremedoctrine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: publius911
Something to do with tensile and compressive ultimate strength of materials.

Facts or not, these are just code words for opposition to Obama's agenda. In other words, racism.

22 posted on 11/23/2012 1:40:37 PM PST by 17th Miss Regt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: smokingfrog
I don`t care how much poison you put in it, heat it enough and it will carbonize. Steel melts and concrete spalls but at which temps will they do so in comparison to this wood turning into toxic charcoal?
23 posted on 11/23/2012 1:42:15 PM PST by nomad
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: RegulatorCountry; nomad

Actually, the first metal frame (iron, IIRC) had a bad problem with quickly collapsing in fires that would not have brought down a timber frame building for a while. The very thick timber beams, girders and columns would char on the outside, but it took some time for the interior wood to burn & loose strength.

However, the iron would crack from thermal stresses or the steel would warp fairly soon. In many cases, current buildings are required by code to have insulation over the metal frame members. What sort of insulation?

Sprayed on wood fiber pulp and clay mix is one method.


24 posted on 11/23/2012 1:43:13 PM PST by BwanaNdege (Man has often lost his way, but modern man has lost his address - Gilbert K. Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

It can be done, after all redwoods are 200-300 feet tall. However, it would be better to take the cellulose out of wood, which is the biopolymer which makes wood strong, and put it into a substance more durable, like a plastic, and make a building out of that.


25 posted on 11/23/2012 1:44:47 PM PST by Vince Ferrer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Maybe this jerk ought to check out the Great Fire of London, and many similar occurrences.

There are reasons why cities are built of brick, stone, or concrete.


26 posted on 11/23/2012 1:45:17 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

All those people that perished after that wood skyscraper burned as hot as a rocket when the chiminey effect superheated the fire? We call them bumps in the road.


27 posted on 11/23/2012 1:46:28 PM PST by Yogafist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BwanaNdege

Seems I recall something about absence of asbestos in the WTC towers.

As far as construction materials and fire safety, though, the combination of concrete and steel was marketed as being almost fireproof and they were by comparison to wood framed structures butted side by side.


28 posted on 11/23/2012 1:49:23 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
Those people are stupider than the ones that voted for obama!!!

Homes and food for termites.

Besides that high rises are type I buildings and have to be built from incombustible materials and the structure fireproofed to 2, 3, and 4 hour protection!!

29 posted on 11/23/2012 1:51:07 PM PST by dalereed
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mountainlion
Key word here is “Sustainable” This is unusually a buzz word used by the left for such things as Agenda 21

It also means HOLD ON TO YOUR WALLET because this building concept is not economically viable, it is will need your money to be built.

To the enviro marxist it looks like a 30 story building. To Al Queda it looks like a 30 story funeral pyre full of non believers that need to be burned.

30 posted on 11/23/2012 1:52:29 PM PST by cpdiii (Deckhand, Roughneck, Mud Man, Geologist, Pilot, Pharmacist. THE CONSTITUTION IS WORTH DYING FOR!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Next up in the queue for sustainable building materials:
Legos!


31 posted on 11/23/2012 1:55:39 PM PST by supremedoctrine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cpdiii

Like your last sentence.
And they won’t even need a hijacked plane to take it
down.


32 posted on 11/23/2012 1:58:47 PM PST by supremedoctrine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: spel_grammer_an_punct_polise

And rots.


33 posted on 11/23/2012 2:01:56 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Why is the government more concerned about protecting a microbe on Mars than an unborn baby here?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: RegulatorCountry

That’s not an actual wooden skyscraper. I was just imagining a Jenga type building made of wood and found that picture on google search.

Actually, it may not be that far-fetched within limitations.

http://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/tall-wood-architect-gives-away-technology-build-wood-buildings-thirty-storeys-high.html


34 posted on 11/23/2012 2:03:24 PM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: humblegunner

You’re ‘way ahead of your time. Your steps certainly are sustainable.

We’re watching movies from our collection this evening. There will be no movie reviews because they’re all 5 stars, or we wouldn’t have bought them, LOL!


35 posted on 11/23/2012 2:11:43 PM PST by TheOldLady
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
My dream is to live in the penthouse of a hundred story matchstick.
36 posted on 11/23/2012 2:43:34 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Labor unions are the Communist Party of the USA.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RegulatorCountry

http://www.softwood.org/cms/data/img/uploads/files/AITC_Superior_Fire_UK.pdf (see pages 3 & 4)

When exposed to fire wood retains its strength for a
longer period of time than metal. Unprotected metals
quickly lose their strength and collapse suddenly,
often with little warning. In contrast, wood loses
strength slowly and only as material is lost through
surface charring.
Average building fire temperatures range from
approximately 700º to 900º Celsius. Steel weakens
dramatically as its temperature climbs above 230ºC,
retaining only 10% of its strength at about 750ºC.
As a rule, wood will not ignite until it reaches a temperature
of around 250ºC. Once it catches fire, wood typically
develops char at the rate of 0.64mm per minute
under severe fire conditions. The char naturally insulates
the wood and raises the temperature level it can
withstand. Thus, in a 30-minute fire, only 19mm of
each exposed surface of the glulam is lost to charring,
leaving most of the original cross section intact.

http://facweb.northseattle.edu/ssimmons/Winter/2012/TDR%20134/PPTs/Chapter4.ppt.pptx (see slide 4)

“Large wood members have greater resistance to fire than unprotected steel.
Steel, due to its high thermal conductivity, quickly heats up and loses strength during fires.

Large timbers are slow to absorb heat, slow to catch fire, and slow to burn.
The charred outer layer of a partially-burned timber insulates and protects the inner undamaged portion of the timber which retains the capacity to carry some load.”


37 posted on 11/23/2012 3:32:10 PM PST by BwanaNdege (Man has often lost his way, but modern man has lost his address - Gilbert K. Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
Next up...


38 posted on 11/23/2012 3:45:33 PM PST by MV=PY (The Magic Question: Who's paying for it)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BwanaNdege
The points that seem to be missing:
Wood is a fuel source for fire, steel and concrete not so much.
Any premise that begins with “Concrete and steel production are major sources of CO2.....” is a lie based on the envirowhacko premise of demonizing CO2 as a pollutant. The whole premise is a ginned up lie to promote their ultimate agenda of de industrializing the U.S. and other wealthy industrial nations. Anything that they promote shouldn't even be given a moments serious debate.
39 posted on 11/23/2012 4:23:32 PM PST by bitterohiogunclinger (Proudly casting a heavy carbon footprint as I clean my guns ---)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: BwanaNdege

Interesting. Often things are not as they appear at first blush. Engineered wood is very strong (and completely repeatable...each beam is just as strong as the one next to it) and it can be made as thick as desired. It can also be treated with poisons to make it taste crappy for termites. For those that have an attached garage, go take a look at your door from the house. If it’s to current code, there’s a good chance it’s wood, as wood is also an excellent fireblock.

Having said all that, wood should still be left to compete in the free market...it already has a place in fairly large structures and it should have to show its worth. The idea that we can save the world by building with wood, rather than steel, is just stupid - if for no other reason than that we’ve already (stupidly) built just about every structure we need for the next 20 years anyway, thanks to the housing and related bubbles.


40 posted on 11/23/2012 6:03:57 PM PST by BobL (You can live each day only once. You can waste a few, but don't waste too many.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: ffusco

You all need to read the article. Wood is a very durable material and under many circumstances will last longer than steel and concrete.


41 posted on 11/23/2012 11:10:04 PM PST by tiki
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: bitterohiogunclinger

“Anything that they promote shouldn’t even be given a moments serious debate.”

“Even a broken clock is correct twice a day.”

I agree with you on being skeptical of anything the environmentalists promote. However, just because they advocate something for spurious reasons does not mean that thing is necessarily bad or even wrong.

Just as the environmentalist is often “spring-loaded” to the “Eco/Sustainable” position, we conservatives are sometimes spring-loaded to automatically reject ANYTHING which the environmentalist advocates.

The environmentalist looks naive & often foolish whenever he breathlessly endorses anything with “Eco” or “Ecology” attached to the name or description. However the definition of Ecology, “The branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings”, apples very well to a septic tank.

Both sides need to evaluate ideas & programs on their own merit, not strictly on whether they are being promoted by red, blue, Dem, Rep, Black, White, North South, Urban or Rural.

As my grandmother used to tell me, “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.”


42 posted on 11/24/2012 5:20:47 AM PST by BwanaNdege (Man has often lost his way, but modern man has lost his address - Gilbert K. Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: BwanaNdege

You’re neglecting the presence of concret structural support. Concrete and steel was marketed as being almost fireproof in comparison to wood frame commercial buildings, and by comparison it was.


43 posted on 11/24/2012 6:32:59 AM PST by RegulatorCountry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson