Eco-friendly building projects

By Kathryn Cuddihy

Two urban building projects, in New York City and Portland, Oregon, have been designed using environmentally-friendly wood instead of concrete and steel. Could this innovative use of material show a glimpse of what cities of the future could look like and how environmentally-friendly materials may change our skylines?

The Guardian
As winners of the US Tall Wood Building Prize Competition, each building is designed to be safe, practical, sustainable and a minimum of 80 feet high.

The use of sustainable materials is important with timber coming from forests that are renewable, this ensures there is enough stock for future use, and forests aren’t just cut down. Much of the timber used is low-grade, it has no other uses and has previously been affected by disease or insects. Once it has been treated it becomes strong, durable and is a useful building material.

The Guardian

The Guardian
Other positive qualities of timber buildings are that they are dense enough that it is resistant to fire, earthquakes, wind and other elements. For example, during a fire timber chars on the outside and retain strength and slow combustion.

Timber-built buildings also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by storing carbon in their walls and frame. The New York City building looks to reduce energy consumption by 50 per cent compared to a normal building.

If we could harness the use of more sustainable materials during building construction I think this is a great way to ensure cities of tomorrow are sustainable as well as beautiful (if the images here are anything to go by). What are your thoughts on sustainable materials?

Read more (and see more) images by clicking on the links below.


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