Tokyo is set to build the world’s tallest building made of wood. The Japanese wood products company Sumitomo Forestry Co is proposing a 350 metre tower to commemorate its 350th anniversary in 2041. The new building will be predominantly wood, with just 10% steel. Japan’s government has been a champion of wooden buildings, even passing a law in 2010 requiring it to be used for all public buildings that are three storeys or less.
There are many advantages to wooden buildings. They can integrate green walls within their design. Wood's carbon credentials are much superior to that of steel or cement, due to its ability to store carbon, as well as being renewable - where sourced from sustainably managed forests.
Recent successes of wooden buildings show that they are both technically feasible and entirely practical, and could signal a shift towards a more integrated form of urban development.