Van Dusen Botanic Gardens is Sustainable Building of the Year

World Architecture News (WAN) has recognized this Vancouver building as the most sustainable of the year. Designed by Perkins and Will the building has achieved LEED Platinum and is Canada’s first building to apply for The Living Building Challenge.

Tall Towers of Wood

The New York Times is reporting that
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has developed a structural system that uses timber to construct tall buildings as an environmentally friendlier alternative to steel and concrete. has been following this story, and, a wood tower is under construction in Prince George, BC by architect Michael Green that when built will be North America’s tallest timber tower. SOM has meanwhile issued a report that studies this construction type. The Times quotes Green and mentions the BC project, along with another pioneering apartment building in Melbourne, Australia.

NY Times: Wood Towers wood towers



Building Tall With Wood

Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM), architect of many of the world’s better known taller buildings has released a study called Timber Tower Research Project sponsored by the Chicago based Softwood Lumber Board.

The study benchmarks a building that employs concrete as its primary structural system against a new proto type that employs timber, concrete, and steel to achieve a carbon footprint reduction of 60-70 percent as compared with the bench mark.

Parameters for the project focus on cost, constructibility, and fire resistance and extensive testing will now be required to confirm feasibility of this new building technology.

the subject of building with wood is of great interest for it environmentsl benefits and in a related article published by iPolitics, together with Andre Albinati of Earnscliffe Strategy Group proposed that Canada develop its own green building standard which better acknowledges wood construction as having environmental benefits.

SOM: Timber Tower Research Project wood construction published in iPolitics: Building a Green Canada Brand




Tall Buildings Now Built of Wood

Environmental concerns are leading architects to pursue higher and higher buildings with wood structures. As highlighted in two previous articles the feasibility of wood as a structural material for buildings is beginning to make more sense as wood’s ‘carbon sink’ properties and structural capabilities are becoming better understood.

Vancouver architect Michael Green shared plans for a startling 30-storey tower supported with wood last year. While surprising this construction method appears to be gaining ground and legitimacy.

AIA article

CLT Improves Ease Of Construction With Wood Building A Green Canada Brand