Timber buildings are reaching towards the skies, thanks to breakthroughs in super-strong wood. The Age recently featured this article looking at the future of Tall Timber:
"Mass timber" is the collective term used to describe this new suite of structural materials, which include cross-laminated timber or "CLT" (multiple layers of wood glued together at right angles under extreme pressure to form giant wall, ceiling and floor panels) and "glulam" (layers of wood jointed together along the same grain for beams and posts). And here's another nickname for these woody high-rises: plyscrapers.
Just as steel, glass and concrete revolutionised super-tall construction in the 20th century, it's now likely that timber, which has been shown to be vastly kinder to the environment, faster to build with, with next-to-zero waste and far healthier to live with, will do the same as the new century marches on, leading to burgeoning new high-rise profiles in Europe, the US and parts of Asia. British architect Andrew Waugh, whose company Waugh Thistleton is building the largest timber housing development in the world in Hackney, London, goes as far as to call this "the beginning of the timber age".