A Japanese company is planning to build the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper with 90 percent of the building made of wood.
Sumitomo Forestry says its wooden high-rise — dubbed the W350 — will be 350 meters tall and the planned structure will be a hybrid of mostly wood and steel.
The 70-storey building, expected to be built in Tokyo, will comprise of stores, offices, hotels and private homes, the company noted in plans released earlier in February.
Sumitomo Forestry, which notes on its website that “happiness grows from trees,” said it aimed to create environmentally-friendly, timber-utilizing cities which “become forests through increased use of wooden architecture for high-rise buildings.”
Building with wood is still not cheap, however.
Using 185,000 cubic meters of timber, the building is expected to cost around 600 billion Japanese yen ($5.6 billion) which is twice the amount of a conventional high-rise building constructed with current technology.
However, the company believed that those costs would come down as timber became a more-frequently used material: “Going forward, the economic feasibility of the project will be enhanced by reducing costs through technological development.”
Currently the tallest wooden building is 18-storeys high (53 meters) and serves as accommodation for students at the University of British Colombia.
Greenery will feature heavily in the building from Sumitomo Forestry with foliage connecting from the ground to top floors offering “a view of biodiversity in an urban setting.”
The building plans show balconies that continue around all four sides of the building, giving a space “in which people can enjoy fresh outside air, rich natural elements and sunshine filtering through foliage.”
With earthquakes not unusual in Japan, the building will incorporate a structural system composed of braced tubes made from columns, beams and braces “to prevent deformation of the building due to lateral forces such as earthquakes or wind.”