9:46 AM PDT, October 10, 2021
Wooden buildings are making a comeback. And this one is bigger, taller, and has an eco-conscious edge.
Sara House of Culture is about 250 feet high, and because it’s made entirely of cross-laminated and glue-laminated timber, this new landmark is one of the tallest wooden buildings globally.
After six years of planning, The House of Culture opened in early September in Skellefteå, Sweden, about 500 miles north of Stockholm.
The building is 20 stories high and includes two art galleries, the city library, a conference center, restaurants, six theater stages, and a 205-room hotel.
But why go back to old-fashioned wood? According to the International Energy Agency, the cement industry currently accounts for about seven percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.
The wood that built the Sara House of Culture came from local, sustainable forests. And to cut CO2 emissions from transportation, the wood was processed at a mill only 31 miles away from the building site.
Electricity is generated through solar panels, and excess energy is stored in batteries that help power other parts of the city.
The sprinkler system in the building is powered by renewable energy, where in most buildings, sprinklers are powered by diesel.
In the fight against climate change, Sara House of Culture demonstrates how old techniques married to new technology may be the way to go.