World's tallest timber tower will be tallest building of any kind in Japan
TOKYO - The world's tallest wooden building - and the tallest building of any kind in Japan - will be an 1150-foot tall timber skyscraper in Tokyo.
The 70-story building will be a hybrid timber structure, made of 90 percent wood and 10 percent steel. Named W350, the tower will be nearly four times the world's current tallest timber building - the 18-story Brock Commons student residence in Vancouver.
Japanese timber firm Sumitomo Forestry is behind the project, and is working with Nikken Sekkei architecture to design a "braced tube structure" with columns and beams made from steel and timber, supplemented by diagonal steel braces. The structure will need to withstand the strong winds and earthquakes Japan is prone to.
The building will cost around $5.9 billion – "almost double that of a conventional high-rise building constructed with current technology." Over 6.5 billion cubic feet of wood will be required. Sumitomo said it is working to 'develop new technology' in an effort to lower costs.
"The interior structure is of a pure wood, producing a calm space that exudes the warmth and gentleness of wood," said Sumitomo in a statement. "The greenery connects from the ground to the top floors through the balcony part, and it offers a view of biodiversity in an urban setting."
It is not yet clear whether or not the building will be made of cross-laminated timber.
Japan's construction of wooden buildings was aided in 2010 with the Act for Promotion of Use of Wood in Public Buildings, which forced buildings over three stories to be primarily made of wood. It also made fire risk standards more strict.

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Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at [email protected].