Is Mass Timber the Key Element in a Low Carbon Future?

By Mark Alan Hewitt, architect, historian and preservationist
Common \ Edge
March 17, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

So what is with the hype about innovation in “mass timber” construction over the past few years? …The color photos show some impressive buildings in places where the wood industry has always been healthy, such as the Pacific Northwest and Scandinavia. Ask someone in the Middle East about where to get wood, and you will receive a quizzical stare. …Anything built of wood is sustainable and reduces our collective carbon footprint. Trees are nature’s best carbon-sequestering machines. …The global timber industry has hardly behaved like a good citizen for most of the last century. If it is being forced to play well with others, that is a benefit to the building industry. Adding new products, and giving architects good reasons to employ them, is something I applaud. But we can still build with sticks, trusses, and roof trees, as we have for millennia. 

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