In an attempt to prove that wood can be a viable and sustainable building material for high-rise buildings, Finnish wood company Metsä Wood and Canadian architect Michael Green have collaborated to design a life-sized replica of the Empire State Building made of lumber. Called “Plan B,” the campaign seeks to challenge preconceived notions about wood construction by recreating iconic buildings using the natural material. Their first Plan B building was Rome's Colosseum, designed by Architect Antti Laiho from Helin & Co. Architects, and now they're taking on NYC's famous Empire State Building.
Architect Michael Green explained the importance of the Empire State Building’s modern, innovative presence 85 years after its construction: “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.”
Green believes that high-rise wooden buildings are not only feasible in today’s architectural world, but that sustainably engineered wood can be an incredibly practical and responsible solution to the rapidly-increasing effects of 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,” he said.