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By 2050, the world's population is expected to soar to almost 10 billion people, and two-thirds of us will live in cities.Space will be at a premium.High-rise offers a solution, but concrete and steel, the materials we currently use to build high have a large carbon footprint.An answer might lie in a natural material we've used for millennia.Our view is that all buildings should be made of timber.We think that we should be looking at concrete and steel like we look at petrol and diesel.I think it's very realistic to think that someone will build a wooden skyscraper in the coming years, there's a lot of potential that's unrealized for using timber at a very large scale .Throughout history, buildings have been made of wood.But it has one major drawback: it acts as kindling.

到2050 年,全球人口预计将迅猛增长到将近100 亿人,而三分之二会居住在城市。居住空间将供不应求。高楼是解决方针,但我们目前用来建造高楼的钢筋水泥材料却有很大的碳足迹。这个问题的解决方案可能是一个人类使用了数千年的天然素材。我们的看法是所有的建筑都应以木材建造。我们认为我们看待钢筋水泥的态度应该跟看待汽油和柴油的态度那样相同。我认为,在不久的将来有人会用木制高楼大厦这样的想法并非不切实际,木材的大规模使用还有很多尚未发掘的潜力。综观历史,木材一直以来都是建材。但它有一个很大的缺点:它会着火。

It's cross-laminated so the layers of wood are glued at 90 degrees to each other.That makes for a very, very stable material.CLT is light and it's comparable in strength to concrete and steel, but how does it cope when burnt with a high heat source?Charred wood is extremely insulating: that's the tree's natural protection against a forest fire.It chars, it loses some of its structural mass, but when you remove the source of flame, it extinguishes itself.When steel gets hot, it gets a bit softer.We've actually seen some steel roofs collapse in fires where wooden roofs have not.London architects Waugh Thistleton are already designing buildings with this new kind of timber.

它是多层木材以90度角交叉堆叠、黏合形成的。这是一种非常稳定的材料。CLT 很轻,而且坚韧度和钢筋水泥相当,但是遇到高温怎么办呢?烧焦的木材其实十分绝缘:那是树木遇到森林大火时的自然保护机制。木材炭化时会损失一些质量,可是拿掉了火源后,它会自动熄火。钢铁遇热时会变软。其实我们曾经看过火灾后,钢质屋顶坍塌,可是木制屋顶却没有。位于伦敦的建筑事务所Waugh Thistleton 已经开始用这个新木材设计建筑了。

There's a CLT building behind, where the timber building sits behind timber clad, and then there's a really simple galvanized steel walkway.Cross laminated timber is a material we work with a lot.Once these panels arrive on site, we're building a floor a week, at least.So this is incredibly fast, maybe twice as fast as concrete.Because when you build a concrete building--what we call concrete buildings--are actually floor slabs and columns.When we build a cross laminated timber building, it's building floor slabs, all the external walls, all the internal walls, the lift cores, the stairs, the stair cores, everything is made of timber, so these are like honeycomb structures.

The way we've engineered the Oakwood Tower is to look at the global structure: Is it stable, and would it stand up?We believe the answer is yes.The columns at the base of the Oakwood Tower would be about 2.5 meters square, so that's solid timber, made of small elements glued together.I think we'll probably see incremental increases from the current height of about 50 meters, and at some point, someone will make a step change, probably to about 100 meters.Making that jump in height will be a difficult sell.The cost of building wooden skyscrapers is largely unknown, but those costs could be reduced by prefabricating large sections of buildings in factories.And city-dwellers will need to be persuaded that CLT does not burn like ordinary wood.As an attractive, natural material, wood is already popular for use in low buildings.If planners approve, it could rise to new heights.

我们在设计橡木塔的时候着重于整体结构:这样稳定吗?长期不倒?我们相信答案是肯定的。橡木塔最底部的柱子大约长宽2.5 公尺,全部以实木胶和制成。我认为未来木制建筑在高度上会有不断的突破,可能可以再高50 公尺,甚至在将来某个时刻有人会有办法直接再突破50 公尺,比现在多100 公尺高。只是要筹钱还是有困难的,因为建造木质高楼大厦的成本基本上还是个未知数,不过有个节省成本的方法:在施工前先在工厂制造建筑大部分的组装零件。另外,还必须说服城市居民CLT 不会像一般木材那样着火。作为一个天然且极具吸引力的材料,木材已经大量使用于建造低矮的建筑。