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

Unscramble the Blue Letters

This is my ganhadtfrer. 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 tlonehcgoy and all the toys in the world, sometimes just a samll block of wood, if you stack it up tall, actually is an incredibly ipiisrnng 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 stleys 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 plpeoe 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 coertcne 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 wruedfonl 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 bgudilins 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 tlaelr than four stories in many places, and that's true here in the utneid States. Now there are exceptions, but there needs to be some exceptions, and things are going to change, I'm hoping. And the reosan I think that way is that today half of us live in cities, and that number is going to grow to 75 prnceet. Cities and density mean that our buildings are going to cionntue 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 yares. Now, one in three people linivg 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 bliut in these two materials, steel and concrete, and they're geart materials. They're the mraeiatls 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 tadoy 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 ernegy, it's the same stroy. 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, umtieallty, 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 meaairtl, 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 ogeyxn and soaks up carbon dioxide, and it dies and it falls to the fresot floor, it gives that carbon dioxide back to the atmosphere or into the guonrd. 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 cabron and provide us with a sriqestuaeotn. One ciubc meter of wood will store one tonne of carbon dioxide. Now our two solutions to ctmalie are obviously to recdue 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 erath grows our food, and we need to move to an ethic in this century that the Earth should grow our hmoes. Now, how are we going to do that when we're uairibnzng 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 brciks 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 brcik 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 chnage. Mass teimbr planes are those 24-dot bricks. They're changing the slcae of what we can do, and what we've developed is something we call FFTT, which is a Creative Commons sluotoin 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 swhos you how the bdnuiilg 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 siiemsc zone, even at 30 stories tall. Now obviously, every time I brnig this up, people even, you know, here at the ccnofenree, 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 tnikhnig about right now. Fair enough. And the way I dbrescie 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 bnrus 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 pceirdt 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 reuslt 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 wonrg teers. 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 stmeyss. Now I actually think that these iaeds 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 cecyls — 10-, 12-, 15-year-old trees that make these poductrs 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 presocs would result in the manufacturing of that cement and 1,200 tonnes of carbon dxoidie. If we did it in wood, in this solution, we'd sequester about 3,100 tneons, 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 bilolin people that need a new home, and maybe this is a contributor to rdniecug. We're at the bngiienng 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 cahgnllee. 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 sioerts 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 effiel was building the Eiffel Tower, and as he built the Eiffel Tower, he changed the skyeinls of the cities of the world, changed and created a citeoptimon between peclas like New York City and Chicago, where devoprlees started building bgiger and bigger buildings and pushing the eopnvlee up hgiehr and higher with better and better engineering. We built this moedl 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 strrtucue 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 andvaced material I can bilud 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 evnemnnorit. I'm looking for this opportunity to cetare an Eiffel Tower moment, we call it. Buildings are sairtntg 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 honipg, and I'm hoping, that my hooemtwn of Vancouver actually potentially announces the world's tallest at around 20 stories in the not-so-distant fuurte. That Eiffel Tower moment will berak the cinileg, these arbitrary 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 ___________. 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 __________ and all the toys in the world, sometimes just a _____ block of wood, if you stack it up tall, actually is an incredibly _________ 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 ______ 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 ______ 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 ________ 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 _________ 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 _________ 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 ______ than four stories in many places, and that's true here in the ______ States. Now there are exceptions, but there needs to be some exceptions, and things are going to change, I'm hoping. And the ______ I think that way is that today half of us live in cities, and that number is going to grow to 75 _______. 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 _____. 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 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 _____ in these two materials, steel and concrete, and they're _____ materials. They're the _________ 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 _____ 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 ______, 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, __________, 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 ________, 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 ______ and soaks up carbon dioxide, and it dies and it falls to the ______ floor, it gives that carbon dioxide back to the atmosphere or into the ______. 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 ______ and provide us with a _____________. One _____ meter of wood will store one tonne of carbon dioxide. Now our two solutions to _______ are obviously to ______ 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 _____ grows our food, and we need to move to an ethic in this century that the Earth should grow our _____. Now, how are we going to do that when we're __________ 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 ______ 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 _____ 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 ______. Mass ______ ______ are those 24-dot bricks. They're changing the _____ of what we can do, and what we've developed is something we call FFTT, which is a Creative Commons ________ 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 ________ 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 _______ zone, even at 30 stories tall. Now obviously, every time I _____ this up, people even, you know, here at the __________, 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 ________ 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 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 _____ 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 _______ 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 ______ 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 _____ _____. 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 _______. Now I actually think that these _____ 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 ______ — 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 takes. The carbon story here is a really good one. If we built a 20-story building out of cement and concrete, the _______ 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 _______ people that need a new home, and maybe this is a contributor to ________. We're at the _________ 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 _________. 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 _______ 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 ______ was building the Eiffel Tower, and as he built the Eiffel Tower, he changed the ________ of the cities of the world, changed and created a ___________ between ______ like New York City and Chicago, where __________ started building ______ and bigger buildings and pushing the ________ up ______ and higher with better and better engineering. We built this _____ 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 _________ 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 ________ material I can _____ 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 ___________. I'm looking for this opportunity to ______ an Eiffel Tower moment, we call it. Buildings are ________ 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 ______, and I'm hoping, that my ________ of Vancouver actually potentially announces the world's tallest at around 20 stories in the not-so-distant ______. That Eiffel Tower moment will _____ the _______, these arbitrary ceilings of height, and allow wood buildings to join the competition. And I believe the race is ultimately on. Thank you. (Applause)

Solution

  1. model
  2. process
  3. higher
  4. buildings
  5. small
  6. ultimately
  7. conference
  8. panels
  9. homes
  10. ground
  11. solution
  12. taller
  13. earth
  14. products
  15. technology
  16. great
  17. people
  18. carbon
  19. today
  20. wrong
  21. burns
  22. bigger
  23. beginning
  24. continue
  25. competition
  26. styles
  27. energy
  28. percent
  29. ceiling
  30. bricks
  31. predict
  32. change
  33. wonderful
  34. dioxide
  35. building
  36. concrete
  37. built
  38. hoping
  39. sequestration
  40. stories
  41. skylines
  42. challenge
  43. build
  44. brick
  45. trees
  46. forest
  47. timber
  48. oxygen
  49. cubic
  50. years
  51. cycles
  52. reason
  53. envelope
  54. reduce
  55. urbanizing
  56. advanced
  57. result
  58. climate
  59. grandfather
  60. systems
  61. ideas
  62. places
  63. scale
  64. seismic
  65. reducing
  66. united
  67. starting
  68. billion
  69. eiffel
  70. break
  71. living
  72. structure
  73. bring
  74. hometown
  75. tonnes
  76. environment
  77. create
  78. future
  79. describe
  80. steel
  81. material
  82. materials
  83. shows
  84. story
  85. developers
  86. inspiring
  87. thinking

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)

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
stories tall 5
billion people 4
carbon dioxide 4
eiffel tower 4
greenhouse gas 3
gas emissions 3
greenhouse gases 3
wood buildings 3
mass timber 3
timber panels 3

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
greenhouse gas emissions 3
mass timber panels 3

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
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  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
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  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
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  151. hard
  152. hear
  153. height
  154. high
  155. higher
  156. hold
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  158. home
  159. homeless
  160. homes
  161. hometown
  162. honor
  163. hope
  164. hoping
  165. house
  166. hug
  167. huge
  168. idea
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  170. impact
  171. important
  172. incredibly
  173. industry
  174. inspiring
  175. issue
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  177. join
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  179. karsh
  180. kid
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  182. kind
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  184. large
  185. lego
  186. life
  187. light
  188. limit
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  190. live
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  192. log
  193. london
  194. long
  195. lot
  196. love
  197. major
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  199. mass
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  203. means
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  213. named
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  215. net
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  223. panels
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  226. peer
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  251. questions
  252. race
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  258. redwood
  259. related
  260. remember
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  263. report
  264. represents
  265. result
  266. reviewed
  267. revolution
  268. road
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  270. safe
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  272. scale
  273. science
  274. seismic
  275. sequester
  276. sequestration
  277. serving
  278. show
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  280. sifted
  281. simple
  282. site
  283. size
  284. sizes
  285. skylines
  286. skyscraper
  287. slowly
  288. slum
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  290. small
  291. snowflakes
  292. soaks
  293. society
  294. solution
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  297. son
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  300. stack
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  304. states
  305. statistic
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  307. storage
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  309. stories
  310. story
  311. structure
  312. styles
  313. sun
  314. sustainable
  315. system
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  317. takes
  318. talking
  319. tall
  320. taller
  321. tallest
  322. taught
  323. technical
  324. technically
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  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
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  341. tree
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  343. true
  344. truthfully
  345. turn
  346. ultimately
  347. united
  348. university
  349. urbanizing
  350. vancouver
  351. walk
  352. ways
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  354. wonderful
  355. wood
  356. wooden
  357. work
  358. working
  359. works
  360. world
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  362. wrong
  363. year
  364. years
  365. york
  366. young
  367. zone