The sky is the limit. A wet dream for us within the forestry business is if more construction was made of wood. Recently we wrote about a project in my neighborhood, an 86,600 square meter (8,6 hectares) warehouse, completely made of wood. This is a one-storey building, built in an area where there is lots of space. But what do you do when you only have 2,379 sqm to build on?
The sky is the limit
You aim for the sky of course. The Austrian company UBM Development announced that they will build a 32-storey wooden building, the Timber Marina Tower, in the Austrian capital Vienna. Construction of the Timber Marina Tower will start in Q1 2025 and is planned to be finished in Q4 2026. It will be mainly offices in the building that will be located 12 minutes by public transportation from Vienna’s inner city.
C6 = Carbon
Before the Austrians even had started to build the Timber Marina Tower, the Australian company Grange Development Consulting announced that they were planning for a 51-storey wooden building in South Perth, west Australia (on a 2,379 sqm. site). It will be the tallest timber tower in the World, named C6 after the periodic table’s symbol for carbon.
The plans for the C6 building were approved by the authorities in December 2021. The developer submitted the plans to the City of South Perth in April 2022.
A small step for the engineers – a giant step for mankind
When you read the forestry trade press you get the impression that quite a few wooden buildings and other projects are underway. That’s good of course, but when you look at the total number of building projects in a country (e.g., Sweden) you find that the share of wood usage is small.
That’s very strange if you ask me. It should be more built of wood. Wood is good for the environment as it stores carbon for a long time, just as Grange Development has understood when naming their new project. There are so many things that could be built of engineered wood and wood components, but very few are. One product we wrote about recently is wind turbine towers, a product that is underway in Sweden where the second wooden tower is being built as we speak.
The public doesn’t want trees to be felled, not close to them anyway. But in the meantime, they walk on wooden boardwalks, sit on wooden benches, live in wooden (small) houses, and have fireplaces. Do they even think about where the wood comes from, or how it gets there? Probably not. If they did, they would demand more felling and more efficient forestry to get more carbon storage in wood.
So, reading about large building projects of wood is nice. Let’s hope the trend grows and is not just temporary, like many other trends. Knock on wood – that’s the future!