Until recently, there were stringent regulations that limited the construction of mass timber buildings. Once limited to five or six stories, efforts to change building codes now allow buildings constructed of mass timber to reach much loftier heights, significantly increasing the use of wood as a construction material.
In Bentonville, Arkansas, a new Walmart headquarters is being constructed of mass timber. Comprised of more than 30 buildings that will sit on 350 acres, the campus will utilize approximately 1.7 million cubic feet of lumber, which is equivalent to 20.4 million board feet. That volume of lumber could build 1,275 homes that are 2,000 square feet in size.
In addition to the construction of new tall buildings, mass timber is being included in updates of various structures – airports in Kelowna, British Columbia, and Portland, Oregon, are recent examples.
Currently, the world’s tallest mass timber building, at 25 stories high, is being constructed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the building process for the structure has been estimated to use 90% fewer vehicles, 75% fewer workers, and be finished in one-quarter of the time it usually takes to build that same structure using traditional materials.
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