The United States is now home to the world’s tallest log building, a sign that more developers are embracing the building material, often resulting in shorter development time and a lower carbon footprint.
Cross-laminated products and other solid wood products, which date back to the 1990s in Europe, are increasingly an option for use in high-rise buildings in the United States.
“This type of construction is lighter, shortens the construction schedule and is quieter – all of which contribute to improved environmental benefits,” according to a US Forest Service study of solid wood.
Funds from President Biden’s bipartisan Infrastructure Act and other grants should be used to support innovative wood programs to advance massive wood construction and expand wood markets as building codes change and taller wooden structures are built.
The growing popularity was reflected in the 284 foot Ascent The residential tower opened in July in Milwaukee, breaking the record for the world’s tallest log building, topping the 280-foot Mjösa mixed-use structure in Norway, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Ascent is a wood-concrete hybrid tower, with 19 floors of cross-laminated timber on a concrete podium for a total of 25 floors.
Even so, most of the 84 log projects of eight stories or more built or under construction around the world are in Europe, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a nonprofit group that tracks properties in the wood.
An additional 55 log buildings around the world were proposed in February, the council said.
Residential properties account for most log projects built or under construction globally, followed by office and mixed-use properties.