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  • Falak Vadhan

MASS TIMBER : THE ERA OF WOODEN SKYSCRAPERS

The magnificent new world of infrastructure and development isn’t restricted to just new

designing and building technologies - new materials are also leading the field.

In the picturesque small Norwegian town of Brumunddal lies a building that is breaking records. The 280 - foot (85 m) Mjøstårnet tower became the world’s tallest timber building when it was launched in 2019. It did not just break records but it also provided that timber which can yield a sustainable and greener alternative to highly polluting concrete and steel. But it’s not just any old timber that was used for this building !! It was a type of engineered wood called cross laminated timber (CLT). The special and sturdy type of wood product is produced by gluing strips of laminated wood together at 90 - degree angles to one another.These strips are then compressed into huge beams using pressure.The end result is impressively tall wooden towers called PLYSCRAPERS and Mjøstårnet is not the only example.




Mass timber is a progressing alternative of other building materials like cement and

steel.Scientists supporting mass timber claim that compared to existing options it results in

quicker construction times , stronger buildings and even safer outcomes in the event of a

fire.Research has found that a seven inch thick CLT floor has a fire resistance rating for two

hours . Not bad , right ? Wood also has green credentials , It stores carbon dioxide throughout its life. So if trees are harvested at the age when they can’t absorb carbon and are turned into mass timber , the carbon is trapped.At the end of its life , the timber can be used as biofuel to replace fossil fuels. Mass timber experts believe that using trees for construction prolongs their life by 100 - 200 years. In the last few years as interest has grown more CLT factories are being built and economies of scale always reduce prices.

Experts argue that mass timber will become extremely viable and popular when it becomes

cheaper than conventional alternatives.That is when plyscrapers will truly soar !!






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