Apartment Construction

by Tom Simplot

Sep 11, 2016

With so many new apartments being built across the Valley, some local governments have begun debating issues about construction style, including whether apartments should be taller or shorter, more expensive or more affordable, or whether they should be constructed of wood or concrete.

 

Does it matter to you as a resident? The short answer is no, especially when you consider all the benefits of wood construction.

 

So why are many apartment homes constructed of wood?

 

First, wood is a high-quality construction material. Remember, our country was built with timber and many of those same colonial homes are still standing just as they did more than 200 years ago.

 

Fast forward to the 21st century and wood building materials have advanced as much, if not more, than any other building material, including concrete and steel. For example, many wood structures use cross-laminated timber (CLT), a product that glues multiple layers of dimensional lumber together using adhesives to create structural members that are lighter and actually stronger than steel. Yes, wood can be stronger than steel.

 

In Paris, an architect has proposed a 35-story carbon neutral wood skyscraper. Since wood naturally filters carbon dioxide, the project if built, as noted by the designers, would absorb 3,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide, an equivalent of removing more than 2,000 carbon-producing automobiles.

 

Aside from wood being an exceptional building material, it also remains one of country’s most cost-effective and sustainable resources. As material costs continue to escalate due to rising demand (most notably steel and concrete), wood products allow builders to rein in costs and offer housing choices that are more affordable to the consumer.