IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

All-Wood Construction in Sweden Is Sustainable, High-Tech

A skyscraper built entirely from local timber not only reduces the amount of greenhouse gas-emitting construction materials, but also captures carbon from the atmosphere and uses AI to analyze its energy needs.

While news of the changing climate is full of stories of disaster, there are some bright spots. Cities around the world are finding innovative ways to combat climate change, and in some cases enhancing their skylines at the same time.

In Skelleftea, Sweden, a new 20-story skyscraper is built entirely of wood grown in nearby forests and can capture 9 million kilograms of carbon dioxide from the air around it. It’s just the latest building in Skelleftea to be made from local timber, part of a larger effort to move away from traditional construction materials, which the United Nations Environment Programme cited as being responsible for more than 38 percent of energy-related carbon emissions worldwide in 2015. Cement in particular is the largest industrial emitter of carbon dioxide globally, while wood, on the other hand, actually takes it out of the atmosphere and stores it permanently.

The new building, the Sara Cultural Centre, is now the second tallest wooden tower in the world. It also utilizes solar panels to harvest energy and has an AI system that lets it analyze its own energy needs and distribute extra to nearby buildings as needed. The cultural center includes two art galleries, six stages and a 205-room hotel, among other amenities. And while it might seem that fire safety becomes a concern when building with just wood, experts say wood burns in a predictable way, unlike a material like steel, according to Wood Magazine. Plus, proper construction and architectural segmenting, as well as systems like sprinklers, enhance fire protection.

Source: EuroNews