Koichi Takada Architects - Sydney

Wood in Architecture

In recent years, we have published many articles about wood. Addressing trends of use, possibilities for log wood, panels, curves, and finishes, innovations in tall building structures, and wood’s behavior towards fire, these articles have explicated a wide variety of the material’s applications and characteristics.

A specific type of wood, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), has emerged as highly structurally efficient with thermal, seismic, and even sensory benefits, described by specialists as the concrete of the future. But when we post these articles on social media, we frequently encounter comments from our readers concerned about the impact of deforestation. Although we may see wood as a great building material of the future, we must ask ourselves: is it possible to continue cutting down trees and using their wood while still calling it sustainable?

Such a concern is not unreasonable. The use of wood is often associated with deforestation, which not only destroys ecosystems and habitats, but also triggers much-feared climate changes. According to a report [1] by the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), it is estimated that the amount of wood removed in the world is expected to triple by the year 2050. The demand for wood and paper tends to grow with an increase in population and income in developing countries; in addition, it is expected that wood use will increase for the manufacture of biofuels, pharmaceuticals, plastics, cosmetics, consumer electronics and textiles.

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