Proposed 80-story wooden skyscraper may be a preview of tall timber future

By Patric Sisson
October 9, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

In a city lined with pathbreaking towers and skyscrapers, the River Beech project, if it comes to fruition, may earn its own chapter in the history of Chicago architectural marvels. That’s because this proposed 80-story tower, a joint research project between Cambridge University, Perkins + Will, and Thornton Tomasetti would be a tall wooden tower, a landmark in the accelerating development of high-tech timber as a new type of 21st century building material. “I don’t think there’s a height limit,” says Andy Tsay Jacobs, director of the Building Technology Lab at Perkins + Will who has collaborated on the River Beech proposal. “The answer in yes, wood can go 80 stories, no problem. The issues are less on the technical side than on the code side.”

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