In the era of accelerated advanced technological developments, especially after the pandemic, innovative and contemporary materials along with the application of ecological and natural materials has become not only imperative but also an urgent need for reduction of pollution and climate change mitigation. For instance, the use of wood has been the traditional choice from the beginning when it comes to construction. However, in recent years, it has developed into a high-tech construction material.
Today, multi storey wood buildings are all over the world and the market for the engineered wood products is rapidly growing every year. Experts have also claimed that wood is not just a conventional material anymore, it comes with great innovation potential as a high-tech element and raw material for the industry. In fact, in recent months, two tallest wooden buildings were built in Austria and Norway. As a result of these recent developments in engineered timber, plans are underway for the world’s first wooden skyscrapers to appear in Tokyo.
According to various studies, wood as a building material is already considered economically competitive, especially for large structures such as halls, swimming pools, and stadiums. In addition to being cost-effective and light weight, it has exceptional strength and rigidity than that of concrete and steel.
Although the cost of the structural framework is about 10% higher when compared to classic concrete construction, the use of wood compensates it with lower transport costs due to its relative lightness.
There is no doubt that completely shifting to wood structures still needs massive amounts of improvement - especially, in terms of wastage reduction. Moreover, with new manufacturing processes, excessive wastage can be avoided giving rise to potential value creation in these processes.
Another issue these construction processes involve is that most of these products are based on softwood and not on spruce (a type of tree). Given that coniferous forests have come under pressure due to climate change, other types of wood must also be used in future production processes. However, manufacturers are already looking for alternatives and different wood varieties will be used much more specifically.
With regard to new functions of wood, industry leaders have to show that it is a high-tech material and in the majority of cases, far too valuable to be burned. This aspect of the industry is witnessing a shift and key stakeholders should take a step in investing in global real estate & construction conferences, such as the Realty 2.0 Conference, and explore tomorrow’s dream or the future of wood in a high-tech world.