Building cities of the future out of mass timber
North America is on the cusp of a mass timber revolution, but the smart material faces major obstacles.
A building made primarily of wood conjures public fear of fire, but for a growing number of developers, it evokes opportunity. From constructing towering wooden condominiums, to timber college dormitories, to an entire neighbourhood built from trees, experts in “mass timber” are creating buildings of the future. A Sidewalk Labs’ Waterfront Toronto project is leading the way.
The plan is audacious, considering that in the U.S., there are only 221 mass timber buildings in the works or fully built, according to the American Wood Council’s Kenneth Bland.
In most U.S. cities, mass timber buildings, and specifically tall mass timber buildings, are a rarity, if they exist at all.