full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Michael Green: Why we should build wooden skyscrapers

Unscramble the Blue Letters

This is my grandfather. And this is my son. My grandfather taught me to work with wood when I was a little boy, and he also taught me the idea that if you cut down a tree to turn it into something, hnoor that tree's life and make it as beautiful as you possibly can. My little boy reminded me that for all the technology and all the toys in the world, sometimes just a small block of wood, if you stack it up tall, actually is an ilcidnbery inspiring thing. These are my buildings. I build all around the world out of our office in Vancouver and New York. And we build buildings of different szeis and styles and different maieatlrs, depending on where we are. But wood is the material that I love the most, and I'm going to tell you the story about wood. And part of the reason I love it is that every time people go into my buildings that are wood, I notice they react completely differently. I've never seen anybody walk into one of my buildings and hug a setel or a concrete column, but I've actually seen that happen in a wood building. I've actually seen how people tocuh the wood, and I think there's a reason for it. Just like snowflakes, no two pieces of wood can ever be the same anywhere on erath. That's a wonderful thing. I like to think that wood gives Mother nutrae fingerprints in our buildings. It's methor Nature's fignrinrepts that make our buildings connect us to nature in the built environment. Now, I live in Vancouver, near a forest that grows to 33 stories tall. Down the coast here in corinafila, the redwood forest gwors to 40 stories tall. But the buildings that we think about in wood are only four stories tall in most places on Earth. Even building cedos actually limit the ability for us to build much taller than four stories in many places, and that's true here in the United States. Now there are eiepxctnos, but there needs to be some exceptions, and things are going to change, I'm hopnig. And the reason I think that way is that taody half of us live in ceitis, and that number is going to grow to 75 percent. Cities and density mean that our buildings are going to ctnuione to be big, and I think there's a role for wood to play in cities. And I feel that way because three billion people in the world today, over the next 20 years, will need a new home. That's 40 percent of the world that are going to need a new building built for them in the next 20 years. Now, one in three people lvniig in cities today actually live in a slum. That's one billion people in the world live in slums. A hundred million people in the wlord are homeless. The scale of the challenge for architects and for sieocty to deal with in building is to find a solution to hsoue these people. But the challenge is, as we move to cities, cities are biult in these two materials, steel and concrete, and they're great materials. They're the materials of the last century. But they're also materials with very high energy and very high greenhouse gas emissions in their psreocs. Steel represents about three percent of man's greenhouse gas emissions, and concrete is over five percent. So if you think about that, eight percent of our contribution to greenhouse gases today comes from those two materials alone. We don't think about it a lot, and unfortunately, we actually don't even think about buildings, I think, as much as we should. This is a U.S. statistic about the impact of goeerunshe gases. Almost half of our greenhouse gases are related to the building industry, and if we look at energy, it's the same srtoy. You'll notice that transportation's sort of second down that list, but that's the conversation we mostly hear about. And although a lot of that is about energy, it's also so much about carbon. The problem I see is that, ultimately, the csalh of how we solve that problem of serving those three billion people that need a home, and camilte change, are a head-on coisloiln about to happen, or already happening. That challenge means that we have to start thinking in new ways, and I think wood is going to be part of that solution, and I'm going to tell you the story of why. As an architect, wood is the only material, big material, that I can build with that's already grown by the power of the sun. When a tree grows in the forest and gives off oxygen and soaks up corabn dioxide, and it dies and it fllas to the forest floor, it gives that carbon dioxide back to the aorepmshte or into the ground. If it burns in a forest fire, it's going to give that carbon back to the atmosphere as well. But if you take that wood and you put it into a building or into a pceie of ftunrruie or into that wooden toy, it actually has an amazing caactpiy to store the carbon and pordvie us with a sequestration. One cubic meter of wood will store one tonne of carbon dioxide. Now our two solutions to climate are obviously to reduce our einsomiss and find storage. Wood is the only major material building material I can build with that actually does both those two things. So I believe that we have an ethic that the Earth grows our food, and we need to move to an ethic in this century that the Earth should grow our homes. Now, how are we going to do that when we're urbanizing at this rate and we think about wood buildings only at four stories? We need to rcuede the concrete and steel and we need to grow bigger, and what we've been working on is 30-story tall bulgindis made of wood. We've been engineering them with an engineer named Eric Karsh who wkros with me on it, and we've been doing this new work because there are new wood products out there for us to use, and we call them mass timber pneals. These are panels made with young trees, small gotrwh trees, small pieces of wood glued together to make panels that are enormous: eight feet wide, 64 feet long, and of various thicknesses. The way I describe this best, I've found, is to say that we're all used to two-by-four construction when we think about wood. That's what people jump to as a conclusion. Two-by-four cntrocsioutn is sort of like the little eight-dot bricks of Lego that we all pyeald with as kids, and you can make all kinds of cool things out of Lego at that size, and out of two-by-fours. But do remember when you were a kid, and you kind of sifted through the pile in your basement, and you found that big 24-dot brcik of Lego, and you were kind of like, "Cool, this is aemowse. I can build something really big, and this is going to be great." That's the change. Mass timber panels are those 24-dot bcriks. They're changing the scale of what we can do, and what we've developed is something we call FFTT, which is a Creative Commons solution to building a very flexible system of building with these large panels where we tilt up six stories at a time if we want to. This animation sowhs you how the building goes together in a very simple way, but these buildings are available for ahctertics and engneeris now to bulid on for different cultures in the world, different architectural styles and characters. In order for us to build safely, we've engineered these buildings, actually, to work in a Vancouver context, where we're a high seismic zone, even at 30 stories tall. Now obviously, every time I bring this up, people even, you know, here at the conference, say, "Are you serious? Thirty stories? How's that going to happen?" And there's a lot of really good questions that are asked and important questions that we senpt quite a long time working on the aneswrs to as we put together our rporet and the peer reewived report. I'm just going to focus on a few of them, and let's start with fire, because I think fire is probably the first one that you're all thinking about right now. Fair enough. And the way I diebcsre it is this. If I asked you to take a match and light it and hold up a log and try to get that log to go on fire, it doesn't happen, right? We all know that. But to build a fire, you kind of start with samll pieces of wood and you work your way up, and eavnullety you can add the log to the fire, and when you do add the log to the fire, of course, it burns, but it burns slowly. Well, mass timber panels, these new products that we're using, are much like the log. It's hard to start them on fire, and when they do, they actually burn extraordinarily predictably, and we can use fire seincce in order to pcdiert and make these buildings as safe as concrete and as safe as steel. The next big issue, deforestation. eiheegtn percent of our contribution to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide is the result of deforestation. The last thing we want to do is cut down trees. Or, the last thing we want to do is cut down the wrong teres. There are medols for sustainable forestry that allow us to cut trees properly, and those are the only trees appropriate to use for these kinds of systems. Now I actually think that these ideas will change the economics of dtteeaosirofn. In countries with deforestation issues, we need to find a way to provide better value for the forest and actually encourage people to make mnoey through very fast growth cycles — 10-, 12-, 15-year-old trees that make these ptrcudos and allow us to build at this scale. We've calculated a 20-story building: We'll grow enough wood in North America every 13 minutes. That's how much it teaks. The carbon story here is a really good one. If we built a 20-story building out of cement and concrete, the process would result in the manufacturing of that cement and 1,200 tonnes of carbon dixidoe. If we did it in wood, in this solution, we'd sequester about 3,100 tnoens, for a net difference of 4,300 tonnes. That's the equivalent of about 900 cars removed from the road in one year. Think back to that three billion people that need a new home, and maybe this is a contributor to reducing. We're at the beginning of a revolution, I hope, in the way we build, because this is the first new way to build a skyscraper in probably 100 years or more. But the cahgnelle is changing society's perception of possibility, and it's a huge challenge. The engineering is, truthfully, the easy part of this. And the way I describe it is this. The first skyscraper, technically — and the ditoieifnn of a skyscraper is 10 stories tall, believe it or not — but the first skyscraper was this one in cgiacho, and people were terrified to walk underneath this building. But only four years after it was built, Gustave eeffil was bduiinlg the Eiffel Tower, and as he built the Eiffel Tower, he caenghd the skylines of the cities of the world, changed and created a competition between places like New York City and Chicago, where developers saerttd building bigger and bigger buildings and pushing the envelope up higher and hgehir with better and better engineering. We built this model in New York, actually, as a theoretical model on the campus of a technical university soon to come, and the rsaeon we picked this site to just show you what these buildings may look like, because the exterior can change. It's really just the structure that we're talking about. The reason we picked it is because this is a technical university, and I believe that wood is the most technologically advanced material I can build with. It just happens to be that Mother Nature holds the pteant, and we don't really feel comfortable with it. But that's the way it should be, nature's fingerprints in the built environment. I'm looking for this opportunity to create an Eiffel Tower moment, we call it. Buildings are starting to go up around the world. There's a building in London that's nine stories, a new building that just finished in Australia that I believe is 10 or 11. We're starting to push the height up of these wood buildings, and we're hoping, and I'm hoping, that my hometown of vecoavnur actually potentially announces the world's tallest at around 20 soitres in the not-so-distant ftuure. That Eiffel Tower monmet will break the clineig, these artbirray ceilings of height, and allow wood buildings to join the competition. And I believe the race is ultimately on. Thank you. (Applause)

Open Cloze

This is my grandfather. And this is my son. My grandfather taught me to work with wood when I was a little boy, and he also taught me the idea that if you cut down a tree to turn it into something, _____ that tree's life and make it as beautiful as you possibly can. My little boy reminded me that for all the technology and all the toys in the world, sometimes just a small block of wood, if you stack it up tall, actually is an __________ inspiring thing. These are my buildings. I build all around the world out of our office in Vancouver and New York. And we build buildings of different _____ and styles and different _________, depending on where we are. But wood is the material that I love the most, and I'm going to tell you the story about wood. And part of the reason I love it is that every time people go into my buildings that are wood, I notice they react completely differently. I've never seen anybody walk into one of my buildings and hug a _____ or a concrete column, but I've actually seen that happen in a wood building. I've actually seen how people _____ the wood, and I think there's a reason for it. Just like snowflakes, no two pieces of wood can ever be the same anywhere on _____. That's a wonderful thing. I like to think that wood gives Mother ______ fingerprints in our buildings. It's ______ Nature's ____________ that make our buildings connect us to nature in the built environment. Now, I live in Vancouver, near a forest that grows to 33 stories tall. Down the coast here in __________, the redwood forest _____ to 40 stories tall. But the buildings that we think about in wood are only four stories tall in most places on Earth. Even building _____ actually limit the ability for us to build much taller than four stories in many places, and that's true here in the United States. Now there are __________, but there needs to be some exceptions, and things are going to change, I'm ______. And the reason I think that way is that _____ half of us live in ______, and that number is going to grow to 75 percent. Cities and density mean that our buildings are going to ________ to be big, and I think there's a role for wood to play in cities. And I feel that way because three billion people in the world today, over the next 20 years, will need a new home. That's 40 percent of the world that are going to need a new building built for them in the next 20 years. Now, one in three people ______ in cities today actually live in a slum. That's one billion people in the world live in slums. A hundred million people in the _____ are homeless. The scale of the challenge for architects and for _______ to deal with in building is to find a solution to _____ these people. But the challenge is, as we move to cities, cities are _____ in these two materials, steel and concrete, and they're great materials. They're the materials of the last century. But they're also materials with very high energy and very high greenhouse gas emissions in their _______. Steel represents about three percent of man's greenhouse gas emissions, and concrete is over five percent. So if you think about that, eight percent of our contribution to greenhouse gases today comes from those two materials alone. We don't think about it a lot, and unfortunately, we actually don't even think about buildings, I think, as much as we should. This is a U.S. statistic about the impact of __________ gases. Almost half of our greenhouse gases are related to the building industry, and if we look at energy, it's the same _____. You'll notice that transportation's sort of second down that list, but that's the conversation we mostly hear about. And although a lot of that is about energy, it's also so much about carbon. The problem I see is that, ultimately, the _____ of how we solve that problem of serving those three billion people that need a home, and _______ change, are a head-on _________ about to happen, or already happening. That challenge means that we have to start thinking in new ways, and I think wood is going to be part of that solution, and I'm going to tell you the story of why. As an architect, wood is the only material, big material, that I can build with that's already grown by the power of the sun. When a tree grows in the forest and gives off oxygen and soaks up ______ dioxide, and it dies and it _____ to the forest floor, it gives that carbon dioxide back to the __________ or into the ground. If it burns in a forest fire, it's going to give that carbon back to the atmosphere as well. But if you take that wood and you put it into a building or into a _____ of _________ or into that wooden toy, it actually has an amazing ________ to store the carbon and _______ us with a sequestration. One cubic meter of wood will store one tonne of carbon dioxide. Now our two solutions to climate are obviously to reduce our _________ and find storage. Wood is the only major material building material I can build with that actually does both those two things. So I believe that we have an ethic that the Earth grows our food, and we need to move to an ethic in this century that the Earth should grow our homes. Now, how are we going to do that when we're urbanizing at this rate and we think about wood buildings only at four stories? We need to ______ the concrete and steel and we need to grow bigger, and what we've been working on is 30-story tall _________ made of wood. We've been engineering them with an engineer named Eric Karsh who _____ with me on it, and we've been doing this new work because there are new wood products out there for us to use, and we call them mass timber ______. These are panels made with young trees, small ______ trees, small pieces of wood glued together to make panels that are enormous: eight feet wide, 64 feet long, and of various thicknesses. The way I describe this best, I've found, is to say that we're all used to two-by-four construction when we think about wood. That's what people jump to as a conclusion. Two-by-four ____________ is sort of like the little eight-dot bricks of Lego that we all ______ with as kids, and you can make all kinds of cool things out of Lego at that size, and out of two-by-fours. But do remember when you were a kid, and you kind of sifted through the pile in your basement, and you found that big 24-dot _____ of Lego, and you were kind of like, "Cool, this is _______. I can build something really big, and this is going to be great." That's the change. Mass timber panels are those 24-dot ______. They're changing the scale of what we can do, and what we've developed is something we call FFTT, which is a Creative Commons solution to building a very flexible system of building with these large panels where we tilt up six stories at a time if we want to. This animation _____ you how the building goes together in a very simple way, but these buildings are available for __________ and _________ now to _____ on for different cultures in the world, different architectural styles and characters. In order for us to build safely, we've engineered these buildings, actually, to work in a Vancouver context, where we're a high seismic zone, even at 30 stories tall. Now obviously, every time I bring this up, people even, you know, here at the conference, say, "Are you serious? Thirty stories? How's that going to happen?" And there's a lot of really good questions that are asked and important questions that we _____ quite a long time working on the _______ to as we put together our ______ and the peer ________ report. I'm just going to focus on a few of them, and let's start with fire, because I think fire is probably the first one that you're all thinking about right now. Fair enough. And the way I ________ it is this. If I asked you to take a match and light it and hold up a log and try to get that log to go on fire, it doesn't happen, right? We all know that. But to build a fire, you kind of start with _____ pieces of wood and you work your way up, and __________ you can add the log to the fire, and when you do add the log to the fire, of course, it burns, but it burns slowly. Well, mass timber panels, these new products that we're using, are much like the log. It's hard to start them on fire, and when they do, they actually burn extraordinarily predictably, and we can use fire _______ in order to _______ and make these buildings as safe as concrete and as safe as steel. The next big issue, deforestation. ________ percent of our contribution to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide is the result of deforestation. The last thing we want to do is cut down trees. Or, the last thing we want to do is cut down the wrong _____. There are ______ for sustainable forestry that allow us to cut trees properly, and those are the only trees appropriate to use for these kinds of systems. Now I actually think that these ideas will change the economics of _____________. In countries with deforestation issues, we need to find a way to provide better value for the forest and actually encourage people to make _____ through very fast growth cycles — 10-, 12-, 15-year-old trees that make these ________ and allow us to build at this scale. We've calculated a 20-story building: We'll grow enough wood in North America every 13 minutes. That's how much it _____. The carbon story here is a really good one. If we built a 20-story building out of cement and concrete, the process would result in the manufacturing of that cement and 1,200 tonnes of carbon _______. If we did it in wood, in this solution, we'd sequester about 3,100 ______, for a net difference of 4,300 tonnes. That's the equivalent of about 900 cars removed from the road in one year. Think back to that three billion people that need a new home, and maybe this is a contributor to reducing. We're at the beginning of a revolution, I hope, in the way we build, because this is the first new way to build a skyscraper in probably 100 years or more. But the _________ is changing society's perception of possibility, and it's a huge challenge. The engineering is, truthfully, the easy part of this. And the way I describe it is this. The first skyscraper, technically — and the __________ of a skyscraper is 10 stories tall, believe it or not — but the first skyscraper was this one in _______, and people were terrified to walk underneath this building. But only four years after it was built, Gustave ______ was ________ the Eiffel Tower, and as he built the Eiffel Tower, he _______ the skylines of the cities of the world, changed and created a competition between places like New York City and Chicago, where developers _______ building bigger and bigger buildings and pushing the envelope up higher and ______ with better and better engineering. We built this model in New York, actually, as a theoretical model on the campus of a technical university soon to come, and the ______ we picked this site to just show you what these buildings may look like, because the exterior can change. It's really just the structure that we're talking about. The reason we picked it is because this is a technical university, and I believe that wood is the most technologically advanced material I can build with. It just happens to be that Mother Nature holds the ______, and we don't really feel comfortable with it. But that's the way it should be, nature's fingerprints in the built environment. I'm looking for this opportunity to create an Eiffel Tower moment, we call it. Buildings are starting to go up around the world. There's a building in London that's nine stories, a new building that just finished in Australia that I believe is 10 or 11. We're starting to push the height up of these wood buildings, and we're hoping, and I'm hoping, that my hometown of _________ actually potentially announces the world's tallest at around 20 _______ in the not-so-distant ______. That Eiffel Tower ______ will break the _______, these _________ ceilings of height, and allow wood buildings to join the competition. And I believe the race is ultimately on. Thank you. (Applause)

Solution

  1. vancouver
  2. spent
  3. construction
  4. building
  5. world
  6. takes
  7. panels
  8. challenge
  9. definition
  10. nature
  11. dioxide
  12. touch
  13. eighteen
  14. report
  15. describe
  16. products
  17. emissions
  18. tonnes
  19. small
  20. higher
  21. provide
  22. awesome
  23. future
  24. moment
  25. incredibly
  26. earth
  27. engineers
  28. sizes
  29. reduce
  30. capacity
  31. ceiling
  32. eventually
  33. built
  34. arbitrary
  35. climate
  36. honor
  37. atmosphere
  38. architects
  39. mother
  40. trees
  41. predict
  42. house
  43. started
  44. changed
  45. exceptions
  46. eiffel
  47. chicago
  48. story
  49. played
  50. hoping
  51. piece
  52. deforestation
  53. growth
  54. buildings
  55. greenhouse
  56. shows
  57. today
  58. falls
  59. models
  60. bricks
  61. science
  62. grows
  63. continue
  64. living
  65. build
  66. steel
  67. collision
  68. furniture
  69. cities
  70. fingerprints
  71. society
  72. process
  73. materials
  74. reason
  75. patent
  76. reviewed
  77. codes
  78. stories
  79. carbon
  80. california
  81. clash
  82. money
  83. answers
  84. brick
  85. works

Original Text

This is my grandfather. And this is my son. My grandfather taught me to work with wood when I was a little boy, and he also taught me the idea that if you cut down a tree to turn it into something, honor that tree's life and make it as beautiful as you possibly can. My little boy reminded me that for all the technology and all the toys in the world, sometimes just a small block of wood, if you stack it up tall, actually is an incredibly inspiring thing. These are my buildings. I build all around the world out of our office in Vancouver and New York. And we build buildings of different sizes and styles and different materials, depending on where we are. But wood is the material that I love the most, and I'm going to tell you the story about wood. And part of the reason I love it is that every time people go into my buildings that are wood, I notice they react completely differently. I've never seen anybody walk into one of my buildings and hug a steel or a concrete column, but I've actually seen that happen in a wood building. I've actually seen how people touch the wood, and I think there's a reason for it. Just like snowflakes, no two pieces of wood can ever be the same anywhere on Earth. That's a wonderful thing. I like to think that wood gives Mother Nature fingerprints in our buildings. It's Mother Nature's fingerprints that make our buildings connect us to nature in the built environment. Now, I live in Vancouver, near a forest that grows to 33 stories tall. Down the coast here in California, the redwood forest grows to 40 stories tall. But the buildings that we think about in wood are only four stories tall in most places on Earth. Even building codes actually limit the ability for us to build much taller than four stories in many places, and that's true here in the United States. Now there are exceptions, but there needs to be some exceptions, and things are going to change, I'm hoping. And the reason I think that way is that today half of us live in cities, and that number is going to grow to 75 percent. Cities and density mean that our buildings are going to continue to be big, and I think there's a role for wood to play in cities. And I feel that way because three billion people in the world today, over the next 20 years, will need a new home. That's 40 percent of the world that are going to need a new building built for them in the next 20 years. Now, one in three people living in cities today actually live in a slum. That's one billion people in the world live in slums. A hundred million people in the world are homeless. The scale of the challenge for architects and for society to deal with in building is to find a solution to house these people. But the challenge is, as we move to cities, cities are built in these two materials, steel and concrete, and they're great materials. They're the materials of the last century. But they're also materials with very high energy and very high greenhouse gas emissions in their process. Steel represents about three percent of man's greenhouse gas emissions, and concrete is over five percent. So if you think about that, eight percent of our contribution to greenhouse gases today comes from those two materials alone. We don't think about it a lot, and unfortunately, we actually don't even think about buildings, I think, as much as we should. This is a U.S. statistic about the impact of greenhouse gases. Almost half of our greenhouse gases are related to the building industry, and if we look at energy, it's the same story. You'll notice that transportation's sort of second down that list, but that's the conversation we mostly hear about. And although a lot of that is about energy, it's also so much about carbon. The problem I see is that, ultimately, the clash of how we solve that problem of serving those three billion people that need a home, and climate change, are a head-on collision about to happen, or already happening. That challenge means that we have to start thinking in new ways, and I think wood is going to be part of that solution, and I'm going to tell you the story of why. As an architect, wood is the only material, big material, that I can build with that's already grown by the power of the sun. When a tree grows in the forest and gives off oxygen and soaks up carbon dioxide, and it dies and it falls to the forest floor, it gives that carbon dioxide back to the atmosphere or into the ground. If it burns in a forest fire, it's going to give that carbon back to the atmosphere as well. But if you take that wood and you put it into a building or into a piece of furniture or into that wooden toy, it actually has an amazing capacity to store the carbon and provide us with a sequestration. One cubic meter of wood will store one tonne of carbon dioxide. Now our two solutions to climate are obviously to reduce our emissions and find storage. Wood is the only major material building material I can build with that actually does both those two things. So I believe that we have an ethic that the Earth grows our food, and we need to move to an ethic in this century that the Earth should grow our homes. Now, how are we going to do that when we're urbanizing at this rate and we think about wood buildings only at four stories? We need to reduce the concrete and steel and we need to grow bigger, and what we've been working on is 30-story tall buildings made of wood. We've been engineering them with an engineer named Eric Karsh who works with me on it, and we've been doing this new work because there are new wood products out there for us to use, and we call them mass timber panels. These are panels made with young trees, small growth trees, small pieces of wood glued together to make panels that are enormous: eight feet wide, 64 feet long, and of various thicknesses. The way I describe this best, I've found, is to say that we're all used to two-by-four construction when we think about wood. That's what people jump to as a conclusion. Two-by-four construction is sort of like the little eight-dot bricks of Lego that we all played with as kids, and you can make all kinds of cool things out of Lego at that size, and out of two-by-fours. But do remember when you were a kid, and you kind of sifted through the pile in your basement, and you found that big 24-dot brick of Lego, and you were kind of like, "Cool, this is awesome. I can build something really big, and this is going to be great." That's the change. Mass timber panels are those 24-dot bricks. They're changing the scale of what we can do, and what we've developed is something we call FFTT, which is a Creative Commons solution to building a very flexible system of building with these large panels where we tilt up six stories at a time if we want to. This animation shows you how the building goes together in a very simple way, but these buildings are available for architects and engineers now to build on for different cultures in the world, different architectural styles and characters. In order for us to build safely, we've engineered these buildings, actually, to work in a Vancouver context, where we're a high seismic zone, even at 30 stories tall. Now obviously, every time I bring this up, people even, you know, here at the conference, say, "Are you serious? Thirty stories? How's that going to happen?" And there's a lot of really good questions that are asked and important questions that we spent quite a long time working on the answers to as we put together our report and the peer reviewed report. I'm just going to focus on a few of them, and let's start with fire, because I think fire is probably the first one that you're all thinking about right now. Fair enough. And the way I describe it is this. If I asked you to take a match and light it and hold up a log and try to get that log to go on fire, it doesn't happen, right? We all know that. But to build a fire, you kind of start with small pieces of wood and you work your way up, and eventually you can add the log to the fire, and when you do add the log to the fire, of course, it burns, but it burns slowly. Well, mass timber panels, these new products that we're using, are much like the log. It's hard to start them on fire, and when they do, they actually burn extraordinarily predictably, and we can use fire science in order to predict and make these buildings as safe as concrete and as safe as steel. The next big issue, deforestation. Eighteen percent of our contribution to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide is the result of deforestation. The last thing we want to do is cut down trees. Or, the last thing we want to do is cut down the wrong trees. There are models for sustainable forestry that allow us to cut trees properly, and those are the only trees appropriate to use for these kinds of systems. Now I actually think that these ideas will change the economics of deforestation. In countries with deforestation issues, we need to find a way to provide better value for the forest and actually encourage people to make money through very fast growth cycles — 10-, 12-, 15-year-old trees that make these products and allow us to build at this scale. We've calculated a 20-story building: We'll grow enough wood in North America every 13 minutes. That's how much it takes. The carbon story here is a really good one. If we built a 20-story building out of cement and concrete, the process would result in the manufacturing of that cement and 1,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide. If we did it in wood, in this solution, we'd sequester about 3,100 tonnes, for a net difference of 4,300 tonnes. That's the equivalent of about 900 cars removed from the road in one year. Think back to that three billion people that need a new home, and maybe this is a contributor to reducing. We're at the beginning of a revolution, I hope, in the way we build, because this is the first new way to build a skyscraper in probably 100 years or more. But the challenge is changing society's perception of possibility, and it's a huge challenge. The engineering is, truthfully, the easy part of this. And the way I describe it is this. The first skyscraper, technically — and the definition of a skyscraper is 10 stories tall, believe it or not — but the first skyscraper was this one in Chicago, and people were terrified to walk underneath this building. But only four years after it was built, Gustave Eiffel was building the Eiffel Tower, and as he built the Eiffel Tower, he changed the skylines of the cities of the world, changed and created a competition between places like New York City and Chicago, where developers started building bigger and bigger buildings and pushing the envelope up higher and higher with better and better engineering. We built this model in New York, actually, as a theoretical model on the campus of a technical university soon to come, and the reason we picked this site to just show you what these buildings may look like, because the exterior can change. It's really just the structure that we're talking about. The reason we picked it is because this is a technical university, and I believe that wood is the most technologically advanced material I can build with. It just happens to be that Mother Nature holds the patent, and we don't really feel comfortable with it. But that's the way it should be, nature's fingerprints in the built environment. I'm looking for this opportunity to create an Eiffel Tower moment, we call it. Buildings are starting to go up around the world. There's a building in London that's nine stories, a new building that just finished in Australia that I believe is 10 or 11. We're starting to push the height up of these wood buildings, and we're hoping, and I'm hoping, that my hometown of Vancouver actually potentially announces the world's tallest at around 20 stories in the not-so-distant future. That Eiffel Tower moment will break the ceiling, these arbitrary ceilings of height, and allow wood buildings to join the competition. And I believe the race is ultimately on. Thank you. (Applause)

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
stories tall 4
billion people 4
greenhouse gas 3
greenhouse gases 3
carbon dioxide 3
mass timber 3
mother nature 2
built environment 2
gas emissions 2
wood buildings 2
timber panels 2
small pieces 2
eiffel tower 2

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
greenhouse gas emissions 2
mass timber panels 2

Important Words

  1. ability
  2. add
  3. advanced
  4. amazing
  5. america
  6. animation
  7. announces
  8. answers
  9. applause
  10. arbitrary
  11. architect
  12. architects
  13. architectural
  14. asked
  15. atmosphere
  16. australia
  17. awesome
  18. basement
  19. beautiful
  20. beginning
  21. big
  22. bigger
  23. billion
  24. block
  25. boy
  26. break
  27. brick
  28. bricks
  29. bring
  30. build
  31. building
  32. buildings
  33. built
  34. burn
  35. burns
  36. calculated
  37. california
  38. call
  39. campus
  40. capacity
  41. carbon
  42. cars
  43. ceiling
  44. ceilings
  45. cement
  46. century
  47. challenge
  48. change
  49. changed
  50. changing
  51. characters
  52. chicago
  53. cities
  54. city
  55. clash
  56. climate
  57. coast
  58. codes
  59. collision
  60. column
  61. comfortable
  62. commons
  63. competition
  64. completely
  65. conclusion
  66. concrete
  67. conference
  68. connect
  69. construction
  70. context
  71. continue
  72. contribution
  73. contributor
  74. conversation
  75. cool
  76. countries
  77. create
  78. created
  79. creative
  80. cubic
  81. cultures
  82. cut
  83. cycles
  84. deal
  85. definition
  86. deforestation
  87. density
  88. depending
  89. describe
  90. developed
  91. developers
  92. dies
  93. difference
  94. differently
  95. dioxide
  96. earth
  97. easy
  98. economics
  99. eiffel
  100. eighteen
  101. emissions
  102. encourage
  103. energy
  104. engineer
  105. engineered
  106. engineering
  107. engineers
  108. envelope
  109. environment
  110. equivalent
  111. eric
  112. ethic
  113. eventually
  114. exceptions
  115. exterior
  116. extraordinarily
  117. fair
  118. falls
  119. fast
  120. feel
  121. feet
  122. fftt
  123. find
  124. fingerprints
  125. finished
  126. fire
  127. flexible
  128. floor
  129. focus
  130. food
  131. forest
  132. forestry
  133. furniture
  134. future
  135. gas
  136. gases
  137. give
  138. glued
  139. good
  140. grandfather
  141. great
  142. greenhouse
  143. ground
  144. grow
  145. grown
  146. grows
  147. growth
  148. gustave
  149. happen
  150. happening
  151. hard
  152. hear
  153. height
  154. high
  155. higher
  156. hold
  157. holds
  158. home
  159. homeless
  160. homes
  161. hometown
  162. honor
  163. hope
  164. hoping
  165. house
  166. hug
  167. huge
  168. idea
  169. ideas
  170. impact
  171. important
  172. incredibly
  173. industry
  174. inspiring
  175. issue
  176. issues
  177. join
  178. jump
  179. karsh
  180. kid
  181. kids
  182. kind
  183. kinds
  184. large
  185. lego
  186. life
  187. light
  188. limit
  189. list
  190. live
  191. living
  192. log
  193. london
  194. long
  195. lot
  196. love
  197. major
  198. manufacturing
  199. mass
  200. match
  201. material
  202. materials
  203. means
  204. meter
  205. million
  206. minutes
  207. model
  208. models
  209. moment
  210. money
  211. mother
  212. move
  213. named
  214. nature
  215. net
  216. north
  217. notice
  218. number
  219. office
  220. opportunity
  221. order
  222. oxygen
  223. panels
  224. part
  225. patent
  226. peer
  227. people
  228. percent
  229. perception
  230. picked
  231. piece
  232. pieces
  233. pile
  234. places
  235. play
  236. played
  237. possibility
  238. possibly
  239. potentially
  240. power
  241. predict
  242. predictably
  243. problem
  244. process
  245. products
  246. properly
  247. provide
  248. push
  249. pushing
  250. put
  251. questions
  252. race
  253. rate
  254. react
  255. reason
  256. reduce
  257. reducing
  258. redwood
  259. related
  260. remember
  261. reminded
  262. removed
  263. report
  264. represents
  265. result
  266. reviewed
  267. revolution
  268. road
  269. role
  270. safe
  271. safely
  272. scale
  273. science
  274. seismic
  275. sequester
  276. sequestration
  277. serving
  278. show
  279. shows
  280. sifted
  281. simple
  282. site
  283. size
  284. sizes
  285. skylines
  286. skyscraper
  287. slowly
  288. slum
  289. slums
  290. small
  291. snowflakes
  292. soaks
  293. society
  294. solution
  295. solutions
  296. solve
  297. son
  298. sort
  299. spent
  300. stack
  301. start
  302. started
  303. starting
  304. states
  305. statistic
  306. steel
  307. storage
  308. store
  309. stories
  310. story
  311. structure
  312. styles
  313. sun
  314. sustainable
  315. system
  316. systems
  317. takes
  318. talking
  319. tall
  320. taller
  321. tallest
  322. taught
  323. technical
  324. technically
  325. technologically
  326. technology
  327. terrified
  328. theoretical
  329. thicknesses
  330. thinking
  331. tilt
  332. timber
  333. time
  334. today
  335. tonne
  336. tonnes
  337. touch
  338. tower
  339. toy
  340. toys
  341. tree
  342. trees
  343. true
  344. truthfully
  345. turn
  346. ultimately
  347. united
  348. university
  349. urbanizing
  350. vancouver
  351. walk
  352. ways
  353. wide
  354. wonderful
  355. wood
  356. wooden
  357. work
  358. working
  359. works
  360. world
  361. worldwide
  362. wrong
  363. year
  364. years
  365. york
  366. young
  367. zone