With the climate crisis rapidly snowballing, how can we afford to house the 3 billion people who will need homes in the next twenty years? For sustainable architect Michael Green, the answer is building with wood.
Almost half of our energy use and greenhouse gas emissions are related to the building industry. The materials of the last century—concrete and steel—account for 8% of global emissions. By looking to nature, award-winning architect and new Lavin speaker Michael Green explains how we can solve two problems—world housing and climate change—in an innovative, systemic way. He advocates for sweeping changes in building regulations to embrace wood as a building material for large-scale projects—even 30 foot tall skyscrapers (otherwise known as “plyscrapers”). “I believe that wood is the most technologically advanced material I can build with,” Green explains. “It just happens to be that Mother Nature holds the patent, and we don't really feel comfortable with it.”
Green authored the book The Case for Tall Wood Buildings. His company, Michael Green Architecture, was recently acquired by Silicon Valley construction start-up Katerra, a move that Green says will help “advance our agenda on design, quality, sustainability, and affordability.”