2013 Skyscraper Competition
“Big Wood” is a prototype on mass timber construction that offers the possibility to build more responsibly while actively sequestering pollutants from our cities. Sited in Chicago; “Big Wood” aims to write a new chapter in high-rise construction.
Steel and concrete structural systems have been the primary materials of choice in skyscrapers construction over the years. Unfortunately, these materials have a heigh energy production and recycle costs considering the entire life of a structure.
Understanding that the construction industry accounts for 39% of man-made carbon emissions, it’s imperative that we develop more intelligent and less environmentally destructive strategies for construction. Recent studies had proved the success of 20-30 story mass timber structures with the potential to go higher using hybrid systems.
“Big Wood” is a mixed-use university complex sited in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood. The structure consists of a mass timber system utilizing lumber grown and manufactured on a brown-field site in South Chicago.
Known as “South Works”, the tree farm site was once home of a steel mill, where raw materials were brought in via barge on Lake Michigan. A majority of the steel used to build Chicago’s famous towers (including Willis and John Hancock) came through the South Works steel mill. Implementing a tree farm will extract toxins from the soil as well as carbon dioxide from Chicago’s air. Read the rest of this entry »