Engineering

300 meters high rise building (London)

It would be another attraction in London: a high-rise building from wood, 300 meters high and thus twice as high as the Cologne Cathedral. 1000 apartments 80 stores will be staying in the tower. Architects and engineers have designed this fantastic House, together with the Cambridge University. Whether it is built?

If something like Boris Johnson, then you realize that. The eccentric Mayor of London has played with the parts of the model for a wooden tower in his city like a kid with his first building blocks. So it anyway, said Kevin Flanagan, partner of the architectural firm of PLP, which works along with the engineering firm of Smith & Wallwork and Cambridge University in the project of a skyscraper made of wood. When they introduced their timber tower now the Mayor probably saw some sparkle in his eyes.

300 meters wood tower (London)
The sleek high-rise made of wood will include about 1000 housing units 80 floors. Photo: PLP Architecture

Understandably. The building is an elegant slender building, which will include 80 storeys around 1000 units and works with elements such as sloping buttresses, which are reminiscent of Gothic cathedrals, and real timber-framed. 65,000 cubic meters of wood will be needed, the participating engineers have calculated. After static analyses of various concepts for the structure of the building, Smith & Wallwork came to the desired solution: “The final design uses a giant truss with 2.5 times 2.5 meters of wood panels and 1.75 meters-thick wooden walls.”

Only a quarter of the usual weight

Despite the extremely thick walls, the entire building will have only a quarter of the weight of a comparable construction made of concrete. Therefore, wood is the ideal material for the construction of high-rise buildings for architect Flanagan. “The construction is much quicker, the material is easier to bring to the construction site, overall, it’s much cheaper.” Also, the natural building material bind large amounts of carbon, while concrete and steel led to a massive emissions of greenhouse gases in its production process.

Doubts about the availability of wood for similar structures around the world don’t have the planners. Alone Canada could supply 15 billion cubic meters of timber in the next 70 years from managed forests around sufficiently for the apartments of one billion people, says Dr. Michael Ramage, Director of the Center for Natural Material innovation in Cambridge.

Wood was much too little used as a construction material, but offer a sense of well-being for the people that never could – give concrete and steel and therefore high wooden houses were a possible solution to the still vast space in London.

Still uncertain timing, no death-lines ahead.

The wooden construction is scheduled to open at the same time new possibilities in design and so allow for “new town experiences in the 21st century”. Outstanding it would work even in London, finally the construction according to plan is almost twice as high as the towers of the Cathedral. Whether it is however really ever built, written in the stars still Mayor Johnson has not expressed publicly .