Wooden Building Blocks 2.0

A construction site in Vaxjo, Sweden, using prefabricated cross-laminated timber panels that are assembled on-site. Gabriel Leigh

In previous centuries building with wood was the norm, and then safety and efficiency considerations stopped the practice. Now, climate change and other considerations are turning the tide back in favor of building with wood. Counterintuitive at first–climate change is in part a function of deforestation, and reforestation is considered part of the solution–reading this article gives the perspective needed to get your intuition reoriented. Thanks to Gabriel Leigh and the New York Times for this:

Wooden Buildings Reach for the Sky

A rendering of the completed Stockholm complex, dubbed Cederhusen, or Cedar House. General Architecture

VAXJO, Sweden — Stockholm and its suburbs are filled with construction cranes these days, reflecting a growing population combined with a housing shortage. But few of its developments are as extensive as Hagastaden, just to the north of central Stockholm where it meets the neighboring municipality of Solna.

Here, it looks as if an entirely new city is being built.

The 237-acre, or 96-hectare, development is a collection of housing, offices, institutions and public space projects conceived as a model of livability and sustainability, part of the Stockholm “Vision 2030” plan.

One section in particular is notable: two city blocks where a concrete foundation has been laid above a tangle of tunnels that funnel rail and road traffic to the north. It is an impressive feat of engineering, but the real significance is what is now rising from it, one of the largest apartment complexes built from timber in the world…

Read the whole article here.

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