Design is Everywhere: Why Build High-Rises Out of Wood?

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PRINTCast: The PRINT Podcast Studio is a curated collection of cutting-edge podcasts we love about design, creativity, branding, books, and further subjects afield. Soon, we’ll have a dedicated digital listening room. In the meantime, we present Design Museum’s Design is Everywhere, hosted by Sam Aquillano and Liz Pawlak—a “podcast featuring stories of people and organizations using design to make an impact and change the world.”

The latest episode (No. 28): “Mass Timber Buildings Help the Planet, Create Jobs and Make People Happy.

Here’s more from the Design is Everywhere team:

Today we’re talking about building buildings out of wood—sounds pretty normal, but no, we’re talking about building tall, high-rise buildings out of wood instead of steel and concrete, using a concept known as mass timber, and construction products like cross-laminated timber.

There’s a wood revolution happening in real estate, architecture and construction—mass timber is a term for a relatively new group of engineering wood products that rival the strength and durability of traditional construction methods. There are roughly 400 large mass timber buildings in the U.S., and many hundreds more on the way. There are huge environmental benefits to using wood instead of steel and concrete, as well as new jobs and a rebirth of the lumber industry, plus people love living and working in predominately wood buildings.

Our expert guests give us all the details. Guest co-hosting this week is Judith Sheine, the director of design at the TallWood Design Institute, a collaboration between Oregon State University and the University of Oregon focused on the research and advancement of mass timber and structural wood building solutions. And we interview Emily Dawson, an architect and Partner at Kaiser + Path, a real estate and architecture firm in Portland, OR, and a leader in mass timber design and development. And as always, we share our weekly dose of good design.

Photo: Kaiser + Path