News Analysis

Would Wood Skyscrapers Improve Urban Sustainability?

A Japanese company aims to promote large-scale mass timber construction with plans to build a wooden “supertall” in Tokyo.

The Japanese construction company Sumitomo Forestry thinks a city could reduce its carbon footprint by building with wood. To demonstrate this vision and bring attention to the possibilities of mass timber construction, the company plans to build a 1,148-foot (350-meter) tall wooden tower in Tokyo by 2041.

Developed by Sumitomo Forestry’s Tsukuba Research Institute in collaboration with architecture firm Nikken Sekkei, the “W350 Plan” concept is a 70-story mixed-use building including residential, office, and retail space. Requiring an estimated 185,000 cubic meters of timber, the design calls for a highly efficient “braced tube structure” that is 90% wood. Steel braces, diagonally inserted into the structural framework of wooden columns and beams, are designed to prevent damage caused by wind or earthquakes.

Published April 4, 2018

Wilson, J. (2018, April 4). Would Wood Skyscrapers Improve Urban Sustainability?. Retrieved from