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Tall, wooden skyscraper to be built in Japan by 2041

19 February 2018

Japanese company Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd is preparing its concept W350 plan for creating a 350m tall wooden high-rise building in 2041.

Tall wooden high-rise building (Credit: Sumitomo Forestry)

The aim is to create an environmentally-friendly and timber-utilising city where they become more like forests through increased use of wooden architecture for high-rise buildings. This concept plan has been prepared primarily at Tsukuba Research Institute, Sumitomo Forestry’s research and development facility. The institute is expanding possibilities for wooden buildings as a roadmap for future technology such as the development of building methods, environmentally-friendly technologies, and trees that become resources and building materials.

The planned structure is a hybrid wood and steel structure made from 90 percent wooden materials. It will use a braced tube structure in which steel frame vibration control braces (diagonal braces) are positioned inside a column and beam structure, made from a combination of wood and steel. The outermost side is designed with balconies that continue around all four sides of the building. The balcony part gives the high-rise building a space in which people can enjoy fresh outside air, rich natural elements and sunshine filtering through foliage. The greenery connects from the ground to the top floors through the balcony, and it offers a view of biodiversity in an urban setting. The interior structure is of a pure wood, producing a calm space that exudes the warmth and gentleness of wood. Nikken Sekkei Ltd. collaborated in the design of this building.

Tall wooden high-rise building (Credit: Sumitomo Forestry)

The amount of timber used in the W350 plan (185,000m3) is equivalent to approximately 8,000 wooden houses. The amount for CO2 fixation as carbon is equivalent to 100,000 t-CO2.

The total construction costs of the W350 plan have been estimated to be almost double that of a conventional high-rise building constructed with current technology. Going forward, the economic feasibility of the project will be enhanced by reducing costs through technological development. The project offers the advantages of the re-use of timber, urban development that is kind for humans, and the vitalisation of forestry. 

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