Tokyo Plans to Build 1,150-Foot Wooden Skyscraper

CREDIT: Sumitomo Forestry Co

The Japanese wood products company Sumitomo Forestry Co. has announced plans to build a 350-meter (1,150-foot), 70-floor skyscraper out of wood in Tokyo. The project, slated to be completed in 2041 in honor of the company’s 350th anniversary, would be the world’s tallest wooden building, according to The Guardian.

Japan has been a strong proponent of using wood over traditional building materials, such as steel and cement, and passed a law in 2010 requiring that any new public buildings of three stories or less be built out of wood.

The new Tokyo high-rise, known as the W350 Project, will be made out of 90 percent wood and 10 percent steel. Its internal support columns and beams will be made out of a hybrid of the two materials and the structure will be covered on the outside with greenery, according to its final design plans. The building will take 6.5 million cubic feet of wood to complete. The company estimates the project will cost as much as $5.6 billion dollars — twice the average cost for a building its size made out of traditional materials, The Guardian reported.

The new project represents a growing trend in the construction sector to build high-rises out of wood in an effort to cut down on the CO2 emissions generated by the building sector. Creating steel, iron, and non-metallic minerals — including concrete — is an energy-intensive process that accounts for more than 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, the world’s largest built wooden structure is thought to be a 174-foot student dorm in Vancouver.

The interior of the new W350 building will be made entirely out of wood.

The interior of the new W350 building will be made entirely out of wood. CREDIT: Sumitomo Forestry Co