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“All-wood” building still uses concrete flooring

“All-wood” buildings are becoming a trend, but the term is not entirely accurate, as these buildings often include steel elements and concrete flooring.

For example, the new headquarters of Waechter Architecture in Portland, Oregon, has a weathering steel rain jacket and concrete flooring. However, the outer and interior surfaces are made from exposed wood.

The project has received funding from the USDA Forest Service Wood Innovation Program to assess the building’s performance and the feasibility of using wood construction methods in other commercial and residential buildings.

The Stockholm Wood City scheme, designed by architects Henning Larsen and White Arkitekter, is still in the design stage. The project is expected to be the world’s largest wood city, containing 2,000 homes and 7,000 office spaces. Its developer, Atrium Ljunberg, explains the benefits of wood construction:

“Wooden construction means significantly reduced climate impact both during the construction phase and throughout the entire life cycle.”

Research also shows that wood buildings improve the well-being of people living and working in them, and construction is quicker and less noisy than conventional building techniques.

Although there are a few wooden buildings in the UK, they are still a niche sector of the building industry. The Environmental Audit Committee wants to see more wood buildings in the UK.

If the future is “all-wood” buildings, the Portland project shows that this does not necessarily mean the end of concrete in construction. Concrete flooring remains a practical and cost-effective flooring solution for residential and commercial buildings.

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