More than a century after steel and concrete became the standard for building high-rise buildings, the humble tree is making a comeback.
Sidewalk Labs LLC, a unit of Google parent Alphabet, is planning to use timber to construct all of its buildings for a mixed-use community along Toronto’s eastern waterfront. Meanwhile, Oregon became the first U.S. state to amended its building code to permit taller buildings made from timber.
The material can “contribute to people’s wellness, are beautiful, easy to assemble, and strong enough support to build dozens of stories," said Karim Khalifa, director of buildings innovation at Sidewalk Labs. “And unlike concrete and steel, which are very carbon intensive to produce, using timber in buildings takes carbon out of the atmosphere."