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Natural benefits of Wooden Building

Many famous European-American architects seem to have fallen in love with wood these days. Leaving steel and concrete buildings, they tend to build wooden houses, wooden offices or dorms. There is a 30 meter and eight-storey building in the old logging town of Prince George City, Canada. This tall building is one of the most modern and tallest wooden buildings in the world. The building was originally used as the Wood Innovation and Design Center of the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). The building has a special significance. This wooden installation is considered to be a living example of the global warming movement.

University officials said that if the building had been made of concrete and steel, it would have emitted more than 400 tons of carbon dioxide. The world has survived that. The building holds 1,100 tons of carbon dioxide, which the British Columbian tree could collect from the environment. In all, the building holds the same amount of carbon dioxide that 160 families emit in a year!

Wooden comeback in modern architecture.

In the Renaissance era, houses were made of wood. In modern architecture, such a comeback of wood could not have been imagined before. Over the past two decades, architects and engineers have begun to realize the importance of wooden buildings. According to a study by Chad Oliver, a forest and environmentalist at Yale University in the United States, the wooden housing industry can reduce carbon emissions by up to 31 percent instead of concrete and steel! This rate of mitigation of carbon emissions is actually able to completely reverse the current graph of global warming.

In this decade, new skyscrapers are being built. At the end of 2015, Norway built a tower block of 52.8 meters, which was the tallest wooden building at that time. Then in September 2016, the University of British Columbia set a record by building a residential building for students. This wooden installation is only 0.2 meters high from the tower in Norway! That means its height is 53 meters. This year, plans are afoot to build an 84-meter-tall wooden building in Vienna, Austria, which will be the tallest wooden building ever. Named the Hoho Building, the facility will be used as a hotel, residential building and office.

Obstacles to build wooden building

Building a home is a costly affair in today’s world. The whole of the installation industry, especially the construction of large and skyscrapers, stands entirely on concrete and steel. On the other hand, it is not easy to introduce the culture of building houses with wood to the whole world. Because the question remains whether the wooden building will actually play a helpful role in climate change. Because it is a matter of adapting to the forests and the environment of the whole world.

According to some researchers, over-harvesting timber from forests could affect forest ecosystems. In developing and underdeveloped countries, the impact of timber smuggling is so great that the environment can be severely endangered. Chad Oliver thinks, ‘If we are going to cut wood and build a building, we have to do it in a way that maintains the balance of the environment and does not endanger biodiversity.

The details of the Wooden Building

1400 years ago, when houses were not made of concrete and steel, the Buddhist monks of Ikaruga, Japan, built a pagoda 32 meters high. They relied on wood to make it. Then there is the Sakyamuni Pagoda, built by Buddhist monks in a place called Ying in China. This wooden temple is Built in 1056 which is 67 meters high! These shrines still stand proudly.

Interestingly, the last few decades have created a very bad idea among engineers about wood installation. In cities like London, New York and Chicago, wooden buildings were once engulfed in catastrophic fires. Later research has shown that wood, like steel and concrete, does not melt or weaken with proper wood treatment.

Researchers at the Austrian Technical University of Graz conducted some general experiments with wood. The researchers glued the wooden planks to each other vertically. They discovered that the change in the direction of the wood grain pattern (wood grain) in the wood resulted in the loss of small defects and weaknesses in different parts of the board. This is called cross-laminated timber. Pairing the planks increases the rigidity and durability of the whole structure.

During the construction of the building, it can be finely cut up to the sub-millimetre in the factory. This speeds up construction and reduces waste. Considering the strength of this wooden structure, the researchers said, there is no theoretical limit to how tall a building made of wood can be using this structure.

Feture of wooden bulding

At present engineering and safety, sciences are very advanced. The market for modern timber technology, such as the use of wooden beams in the construction of buildings, has expanded by attaching nails to the beams. European countries have enacted strict policies to curb greenhouse gas emissions and energy wastage. So architects are somehow forced to minimize their impact on the environment when designing a home. Therefore the number of wooden houses is increasing. Scientists are also considering the security aspects of these houses.

Dr Weimers’ research team has undertaken a project called ‘Tall Wood Project’. In this project funded by the US National Science Foundation, the team is working on the earthquake resistance of wooden structures. They found that wooden buildings were more earthquake-resistant than concrete and steel.

Carbon tracking of wooden building

One of the main reasons for interest in the wood construction industry is its ability to stop global warming. We mostly use wood for burning only as fuel. As long as we don’t burn wood, that is, to use wood in construction without burning it means that we are not allowing some amount of carbon dioxide to mix with the environment. As a result, the total amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere cannot be increased.

On the other hand, if more wood is cut from the forest in a hurry, there is a risk of environmental disaster. In that case, it is necessary to collect wood from the forest in such a way that the balance of the environment is maintained. Then we will be able to retain more carbon dioxide. Regular afforestation programs and forest conservation can play an important role in this regard.

Let the wooden installation be known all over the world

The movement to build wooden buildings is now limited to Europe and North America. Forest management is a challenge in developing countries. Even then this movement needs to be spread worldwide. Meanwhile, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is planning special forest management in Turkey to build modern timber structures here.

This is a challenge as a wooden installation slowly begins to age. There is no denying that concrete lasts longer than wood. But now we understand that wood can also be long-lived. What could not be done ten or fifteen years ago, we can do today. If we throw wood into the landfill, its carbon will slowly return to the atmosphere. But if recycled wood is used in various future construction projects, carbon will not be able to return to the atmosphere, and researchers hope it will play a key role in reducing global warming.

 

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