As of last October, the world۪s tallest wood building can be found on the campus of the University of Northern British Columbia, in the city of Prince George. The eight-story, 96-foot-tall Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC), designed by Vancouver-based Michael Green Architecture (MGA), sits on a concrete raft slab and contains 51,000 square feet of office and educational space.
The building was designed to showcase the aesthetic and structural capabilities of lumber in commercial construction. Twelve years ago, we were waking up to the role of buildings in climate issues, MGA principal Michael Green says. Contemporary construction is predominantly with steel and concretematerials whose combined production tally up to 8 percent of the world۪s greenhouse gas emissions. But timber, when forested responsibly, can reduce emissions and store carbon, which are the most effective methods to preserve the planet, Green says.