CHICAGO IS GETTING A WOODEN SKYSCRAPER. I have posted a number of times about the concrete buildings of the 1960’s and the 1970’s, and I posted here about choices between wood and concrete. Here is an article about an announcement of plans to build a timber skyscraper 80 stories high in Chicago.

The first reaction is surprise. Wood has not been used in skyscrapers, presumably because building them with wood would present risks that concrete and steel do not present. I mentioned the announcement to Annalisa, and she asked whether they have forgotten the Chicago fire. The response in the article is that there have been many improvements in the treatment of construction lumber since then, so that “today’s mass-produced lumber maintains its structural integrity as well, and sometimes better, than other building materials during a fire.”

The main advantages of wood are lower cost and much lower emissions of carbon dioxide, and they are apparently big enough advantages to overcome perceived risks. Other wooden towers are being planned—an 18 story wooden tower in Vancouver and a 21 story wooden tower in Amsterdam.

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