Will wooden skyscrapers change London city skyline?

Planning authorities are reportedly looking to relax rules over tall wooden buildings

Pathway to COP26 report

What if London’s skyline was dominated by wooden skyscrapers?

Planning authorities in the City of London are reportedly considering relaxing existing rules about very tall wooden buildings in a bid to reduce the carbon footprint of Square Mile‘s built environment.

Just a few years ago, researchers from Cambridge University‘s Department of Architecture proposed an 80-storey, 300-metre high wooden building that would be built by the Barbican.

Wooden skyscrapers have already been built in countries, including Japan, Sweden and Norway.

Alastair Moss, Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee, told ELN: “Our Planning and Transportation Committee and planning department always consider the full environmental impact of a development before taking a final decision on whether to approve a scheme.

“All planning applications are considered equally, regardless of construction material, and go through rigorous scrutiny in terms of safety, suitability and impact.

“We are open to the use of sustainable materials and actively encourage the re-use of materials in schemes where demolition is unavoidable. Of course, any scheme approved by the Planning and Transportation Committee will be required to meet all fire safety requirements as set out under the Building Regulations 2010, but this is a separate process.”

Mr Moss also said the City Corporation was “fully supportive” of ESG principles and had recently adopted a “radical” Climate Action Strategy to help combat climate change.

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