timbertower

This via Neil Lamontagne via Ray Spaxman …

The world’s tallest timber tower, at UBC near the old Student Union Building, is topped off ahead of schedule, according to the Tree Hugger Blog. Designed by Acton Ostry, it uses wood manufactured in Penticton by Structurlam.

…the building is fully sprinklered, the wood is encapsulated in concrete and drywall with a two hour fire rating, and the stairs are poured concrete. However Russel Acton also points out inherent properties of wood:

“Have you been up through forest fire country after a forest fire has been through? So you see all these trees? They’re standing and haven’t fallen down,” said Acton. He explained that fire will burn through the first layers of wood and then stop. “The reason why it stops is that in the depth of that charcoal layer, oxygen can’t get into the wood to keep the combustion process going.”

The blog post continues, reflecting on the critical issues of seismic and carbon footprint:

And of course TreeHugger loves it because wood is a renewable resource, and building with it sequesters carbon dioxide. In this building, according to Hermann Kaufmann, “the carbon stored in the mass timber structure, plus avoided greenhouse gas emissions, results in a total estimated carbon benefit of 2,563 tonnes of CO2, which is equivalent to taking 490 cars off the road for a year.”

Is this the future, or is it a one-off? Is it time to sell my shares in Ocean Cement?