Timber Tower

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

Timber Tower is a sustainable solution for developing tall building structural systems that minimize embodied carbon footprints. The system uses mass timber as its main structural material. Supplementary reinforced concrete supports the structure's highly stressed connecting joints. The resulting efficient structure could compete with reinforced concrete and structural steel systems while reducing the building's embodied carbon footprint by 60 to 75%.

Three key reasons make timber a sustainable structural material: 
1. Wood acts as a carbon sink 
2. Wood has a lower embodied carbon footprint than concrete, steel, and masonry. 
3.Wood is a renewable resource. When harvested and manufactured responsibly, wood isn't a finite resource.

Timber Tower is designed to the same program as the DeWitt Chestnut, a highly material and carbon efficient, 42-story Chicago residential building. Timber Tower's structural system would cut the building's embodied carbon footprint from an estimated 9,500 tons of CO2 to 2,100 tons of CO2. This estimate includes sequestered CO 2— approximately 3,000 tons — helping it to improve the nation's overall emissions measurements. All of this could be accomplished without sacrificing living space quality, suggesting that a timber tower could be a practical structural solution for residential tall buildings.



Architect of record

William Baker
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
224 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 1000
Chicago, IL 60604, United States
Phone: 312 360 4378
Fax: 312 360 4545
katie.rathbone@som.com