The researchers argue that phasing out concrete and steel in favor of wooden building materials will significantly reduce the level of harmful carbon in the atmosphere.
As you know, wood is one of the most environmentally friendly building materials known to man. Nowadays, it is increasingly inferior to ceramics and concrete, which are cheap to manufacture, unpretentious in operation and, moreover, have impressive strength. However, scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research argue that it is wood construction that can be the very factor that will solve the problem of carbon pollution in large cities - after all, wood can absorb carbon from the environment in much the same way as living wood.
The main problem when using wood is, of course, its flammability. It is worth noting, however, that solid wood structures are much more difficult to ignite than their plywood and chipboard counterparts. While the latter are completely burned, natural wood usually burns on the outside, but can retain structural integrity on the inside. Structures constructed from thick timber, laid in the correct manner, can be almost as fire resistant as concrete buildings.
Researchers are confident that even with an increase in the mass of wooden buildings by only 10%, it will absorb up to 10,000,000 tons of harmful carbon from the atmosphere per year. Of course, this is true only for those countries where there is a stable industry of timber extraction and processing. In fact, replacing concrete with wood in large cities will make a much more significant environmental contribution. The fact is that making concrete requires incredibly high temperatures, as well as melting steel for rebar. Both processes consume a lot of fuel, the products of which, in turn, poison the atmosphere with greenhouse gases.
As an example of high-rise timber construction in Chicago, the project of the wooden skyscraper River Beech Tower, which should be 80 stories high, was proposed. Of course, this is far from the only such project; a retro trend for wooden buildings is gradually emerging in the world. Builders note that in many aspects wood is much easier to work with, and working and living in wooden houses is also much more comfortable than in modern "boxes" made of concrete and steel.