Fast Company's Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan takes a closer look at building with timber, and whether it's as environmentally friendly as it seems.
The material recently experienced a major renewal, with esteemed architects proposing 80-story timber-clad skyscrapers and U.S. architects clamoring to clinch the title of the tallest wood building in the country.
Fueled by the wood products industry (a $200 billion market, if you include paper), sustainability issues, and emerging ideas from building science, wood buildings are no longer pastoral artifacts. According to many scientists and architects—and not a few wood lobbyists—they’re the future. But not everyone agrees.