Building with the Colosseum and Empire State Building with Wood: the Future of Sustainable Housing

​​​​Metsä Wood, a Finnish quality wood products producer, has designed the iconic Empire State Building using wood as the main material together with Michael Green, a world-known architect and spokesperson for using wood in modern constructions. This is the first new way to build a skyscraper in the past 100 years.​​​​

In an ever more responsible world, the importance of wood in construction increases every day. Metsä Wood wants to be strongly involved in the development and growth of these markets. Metsä Wood’s “Plan B” campaign aims to highlight the fact that wood should always be considered as a serious option in everything from design to construction – also in buildings in which wood hasn’t previously been used. The design and construction plan for a wooden version of the Empire State Building was made by Canadian architect Michael Green and his firm MGA. Internationally recognized leader in timber engineering, Equilibrium Consulting, provided expertise on structural matters. Metsä Wood’s own material and construction experts rounded out the team.​​​​

The iconic Empire State Building was a representative of innovations in structural steel in the 1920’s. For nearly 40 years it was the tallest building in the world.​​​​

“While many things have changed in 85 years, architects still strive to give form to new ideas about structure, energy consumption, climate change and the list goes on. For these reasons the most iconic building of the modern age - the Empire State Building - was chosen for Plan B case. We designed a skyscraper using Metsä Wood’s Kerto® LVL engineered wood as the main material from floors to column spacing”, explains the architect, Michael Green.​​​​

Green is a strong believer that high-rise wooden buildings are not only possible, but may be the most practical and environmentally sound solution to addressing rapid global urbanization and climate change.

​​​​“I believe that the future belongs to tall wooden buildings. Significant advancements in engineered wood and mass timber products have created a new vision for what is possible for safe, tall, urban wood buildings. The challenge now is to change society’s perception of what’s possible. In fact, this is the first new way to build a skyscraper in the last 100 years”, tells Green. Wood is not only a highly aesthetic and sustainable option but also efficient, fast to construct and enables light structures. It is also a more fireproof material than ordinary perceived. “Wood construction is an ever-evolving business, and the market needs more innovative, sustainable, faster and effective solutions,” explains SVP Jari Tikkanen from Metsä Wood. “Metsä Wood is strong in Europe, with ambitious global growth targets in USA and Asia.” Because the world need’s a Plan B.

​​​​Plan B challenges widely spread preconceptions and explores the various possibilities of wood construction. As a part of the project, Metsä Wood shows in detail how to build a recognizable yet modern versions of world-known architectural buildings using wood as the main material. The concept’s main target groups are architects, construction engineers and builders.

​​​​The Plan B concept will be featured on Metsä Wood’s website. In addition to the Empire State Building and the Roman Coliseum, more wooden redesigns of world-known architecturally iconic buildings will be designed and published this year.​​​​

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About Metsä Wood​​​​

In an ever more responsible world, the importance of wood keeps growing. Metsä Wood provides the premium-quality wood products for our construction, industrial and distribution customers. Our aim is to be the best partner for these customers, opening up the almost endless possibilities of wood.

​​​​Metsä Wood uses100 % traceable wood from the northern forests of Finland, a sustainable raw material of the finest quality. Their facilities are surrounded by these forests, which ensures a never-ending reliable supply. Metsä Wood's primary products are Nordic premium timber, plywood, Kerto ® and glulam. Their key strength is industrial efficiency delivered through true commitment, reliability and quality. Metsä Wood continuously demands more from both themselves and their partners. They are strong in Europe, with ambitious global growth targets that include a heavy focus on the North American Market. 

Metsä Wood is part of Metsä Group, which covers the whole wood value chain from sapling to product.

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Source: Metsä Wood

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