Tall Wood 101: Teaching Design Professionals About Wood in Building

Although steel and concrete skyscrapers typically fill modern city skylines, architects and engineers are beginning to reconsider the benefits of using wood as a material for tall  buildings.

The Finlandia Prize-winning Puukuokka apartment building was built with prefabricated modules of CLT.

The Finlandia Prize-winning Puukuokka apartment building is an example of wood construction instead of steel and concrete.

But in order for society to reap those benefits, building design and construction professionals need to get smart on how to make tall wood buildings a reality.

A new factsheet published by the USDA Forest Service, titled Teaching Design Professionals About Wood In Building, presents two brief case studies of organizations providing such education–Michael Green Architecture and WoodWorks.

The work being done here at the Forest Products Laboratory is also key to making these sky-high efforts a success.

Take a look to learn more about the efforts of these organizations and USDA to promote the use of wood, along with a few fast facts and links to additional resources.

Continent’s Tallest Wood Building Getting off the Ground


At the Forest Products Laboratory we will tell you there are all sorts of advantages to “going green” and using wood to construct buildings.

Thanks to Michael Green, and the company that bears his name, Michael Green Architecture (MGA),  this is beginning to happen in a very big way.

Work has started on what will be North America’s tallest wood building. The Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC) will be located in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. The six-story, 90-foot structure (pictured) will showcase the latest in wood construction. It is targeted to be finished by September, 2014. 

Says the pioneering Green: “What has allowed us to move to this new kind of building is the use of mass timber panels. These materials come in huge sheet sizes that are thick enough that they have an inherent fire resistance.”

For more on FPL’s green-building initiatives hit our website or dig into Lab Notes.