Wooden Skyscrapers

Concrete and steel are so energy-intensive to work with. Why don’t we just build large towers out of wood instead?

7 Responses to “Wooden Skyscrapers”

  1. BrianN says:

    I wonder if it really is “greener” though given that there is a process to convert wood to building material that apparently involves “enormous pressure”. I could build a concrete building and say, ” it’s eco freindly, it’s made out of rocks!”

  2. Pitt says:

    Concrete and steel are both superior building materials. Concrete is cheap and has tremendous compressive strength. Steel is readily recyclable and handles great loads per unit weight in both tension and compression. And neither is susceptible to insect infestation- or requires nasty chemicals to be rot or pest resistant.

    The only reason we do’t use more of each is that people think a concrete and steel house is kinda ugly.

  3. Pitt says:

    I also feel twinges of gloom and flashbacks to “Soylent Green” whenever someone starts talking about housing 3 billion poor people. Is it really humanity’s goal to be packed, sardine-style, into little compartments (“apartments” is simply a euphemism)?

    The sooner we recognize that there really is a population problem, the better off we’ll be as a species. Man’s only real natural predator (aside from some rather unorganized viruses) is himself- and despite all our best efforts to kill as many of each other as possible, making more of us is still far and away the more popular activity.

  4. matt says:

    Didn’t Thomas Edison build a bunch of concrete houses?

  5. BrianN says:

    @Pitt — Visit Asia, you’ll see that future in action. The fun part is when the parking lot is so full people just leave their cars in neutral so you can push them around like one of those puzzles with the squares.

    Also viruses are very well organized. They just know if they kill us all they’ll be dead too. Really the smartest ones are the ones you’ve never heard of because they just infect you and sit there occasionally making some more virus particles.

  6. BrianN says:

    And… You know that expression, “people who live in wooden skyscrapers shouldn’t throw molitov cocktails.”

  7. Pitt says:

    Down in the po’ South, lots of houses are simply cinderblock on concrete slabs, with metal roofs. If they put vinyl siding on them you’d never know they were concrete. Cheap to build, and pretty strong, if not terribly good in cold weather.

    There were some companies that built all-steel prefab houses around the time of WWII. There’s still a few around, they’re a niche collector market. Kinda neat, art-deco style. But very small. And hard to hang pictures on the walls. I guess you can use magnets.

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