You Can’t Get More Climate Change Friendly Than Wooden Skyscrapers

New skyscrapers will be built largely from wood. (Image: CC0 Public Domain)
New skyscrapers will be built largely from wood. (Image: CC0 Public Domain)

With new skyscrapers that are fit for climate change, the day of cement, steel, and glass is nearly over. These two wooden, that’s right, wooden skyscrapers are set to change the way we live.

 The 84-metre-high wooden skyscraper, which will be built in the Seestadt Aspern area of Vienna,   Image: Rüdiger Lainer and Partner

The 276-foot-high wooden skyscraper that will be built in the Seestadt Aspern area of Vienna, (Image: Rüdiger Lainer and Partner)

The first skyscraper is from the architectural firm Rüdiger Lainer and Partner, and the project is called HoHo, which will be 276 ft high when completed.

That will make it the tallest wooden skyscraper of its kind.

Construction is set to start in 2016, will cost $67 million, and will be built in the Seestadt Aspern area, in Vienna. It will have 24 floors consisting of a restaurant, hotel, offices, and apartment units.

The skyscraper will host apartments, a hotel and wellness centre.  Image: Rüdiger Lainer and Partner

The HoHo skyscraper will host apartments, a hotel, and wellness center. (Image: Rüdiger Lainer and Partner)

Seventy-six percent of the building will be made of wood, that works out to be about 2,800 tons of carbon dioxide emissions saved by using wood instead of conventional materials.  Now, in case you’re wondering about fire, the Vienna fire service is collaborating with the architectural firm and is installing an advanced fail-safe sprinkler system.

Why use wood, “I think it is important everyone now in 2014 thinks in different ways. We have wood, which is a perfect construction material for building. It was used 200 years ago and it was perfect then and is perfect now” said Project developer Caroline Palfy, of Kerbler.

This video tells you all about the Elastic Woodscraper II:

The second skyscraper is from Weingartner Architects, who have developed a concept to meet the issue of climate change, land scarcity, and lack of resources. This project is called the Elastic Woodscraper II and is designed with sustainability and energy efficiency in mind. This building will be 70 percent wood that will be locally sourced. It will rise to the height of 200 meters and will accommodate 300 people.

Elastic Woodscraper II Living Area Image: YouTube Screenshot

Elastic Woodscraper II living area. (Screenshot/YouTube)

The concept is to have a centrally-located concrete core, and then up to 14 prefabricated wooden “skycubes” mounted on top. Each skycube consists of three floors with 15 apartments, and will have playgrounds, a sauna, a rooftop terrace, and a pool. There will also be a lobby, café, communal barbecue area, and a gym.

Elastic Woodscraper II Image YouTube Screenshot

Elastic Woodscraper II. (Screenshot/YouTube)

The skyscraper will have smart floor heating, solar panels, an advanced heat recovery ventilation system, a combined heat and power station (CHP), wind turbines, and a heat pump. The project is set to be built in Switzerland, and is in the finalizing stages. A fully furnished core and skybox structure in Germany is priced at $5 million. Adding a 3-level underground parking lot and a fully furnished lobby brings the total cost up to $22 million.

It  is great that two companies are looking into the future and being more conscious about the environment and climate change. Let’s hope more will follow.

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