Athlyn Cathcart-Keays writes in the Guardian about a new development of engineered timber that could herald a new era of eco-friendly ‘plyscrapers’. Christchurch welcomed its first multistorey timber structure this year, there are plans for Vancouver, and the talk is China could follow.
Wooden skyscrapers could be the future of flat-pack cities around the world
When American engineer William Le Baron Jenney designed the world’s first skyscraper in Chicago in 1884, no one believed in his unconventional technologies. His lightweight steel frame relieved a structure of its heavy masonry shackles, enabling it to soar to new heights. Perplexed by this trade-in of solid brick for a spindly steel skeleton, Chicago inspectors paused the construction of the Home Insurance Building until they were certain it was structurally sound.
Of course, Jenney’s revolutionary edifice provided a blueprint for city skylines across the world. By 2011, China was reckoned to be topping off…
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