Sustainable construction of skyscrapers and the Bologna tower
The Sara Cultural Center in Skellefteå, Sweden, is one of the tallest wooden buildings in the world and an experiment in sustainable architecture. The building is approximately 80 m high, has 20 floors and is made of wood from local forests. The project is “carbon negative” – 5,631 t of CO₂ generated during logging, transport and processing of trees, construction and operation of the building will be offset by 9,095 t of CO₂ accumulated in the wood used. Structural wood is as strong as steel and concrete, and building rules in Europe and the US are changing to accommodate large and tall timber structures.
The authorities of Bologna wonder what to do with the 48-metre-tall Garisenda tower, built at the beginning of the 12th century. It was tilted by 4 degrees, but a recent unexpected movement of the structure requires further careful investigation. Restoration – an attempt to straighten the tower, strengthen its base or rebuild the structure more solidly – could take up to a decade.
How is the high-rise construction industry changing? In New York, 500 buildings already have the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certificate, proving sustainable development. Low-e glass, high-performance insulation and green roofs are used, such as those on the Javits Center and Barclays Center. BIM technology – building information modelling – reduces rework by 30% and shortens construction time, and the Internet of Things (IoT) intelligently manages buildings. New York is investing in renewable energy sources and intends to use them to meet over 100% of the city’s needs by 2050.