TED Talk – Michael Green: Why We Should Build Wooden Skyscrapers

I have been following TED Talks for a few years now. Like most websites I have on my “to visit” list, I couldn’t tell you how I found them. It may have been a link on some other website, or a friend on Facebook, or maybe linked on another blog somewhere. What is TED? I’ll steal from their website:

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference and TEDGlobal — TED includes the award-winning TED Talks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

New content is posted on TED every day, so I often miss cool stuff. Thanks to one of our Canadian engineers for pointing out a talk by architect Michael Green, who makes a case for why we should build wooden skyscrapers. I did a previous post about the Timber Tower Research Project that Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP did for a 42-story wood framed building. Mr. Green makes the case for taller wood structures from an environmental standpoint and carbon dioxide output of concrete and steel versus wood.

The 12 minute video is worth a listen. The TED Blog post is here: Why tall wooden buildings must be our future: a visual essay by Michael Green.

– Paul

Paul McEntee

Author: Paul McEntee

A couple of years back we hosted a “Take your daughter or son to work day,” which was a great opportunity for our children to find out what their parents did. We had different activities for the kids to learn about careers and the importance of education in opening up career opportunities. People often ask me what I do for Simpson Strong-Tie and I sometimes laugh about how my son Ryan responded to a questionnaire he filled out that day:

Q.   What is your mom/dad's job?
A.   Goes and gets coffee and sits at his desk

Q.   What does your mom/dad actually do at work?
A.   Walks in the test lab and checks things

When I am not checking things in the lab or sitting at my desk drinking coffee, I manage Engineering Research and Development for Simpson Strong-Tie, focusing on new product development for connectors and lateral systems.

I graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and I am a licensed Civil and Structural Engineer in California. Prior to joining Simpson Strong-Tie, I worked for 10 years as a consulting structural engineer designing commercial, industrial, multi-family, mixed-use and retail projects. I was fortunate in those years to work at a great engineering firm that did a lot of everything. This allowed me to gain experience designing with wood, structural steel, concrete, concrete block and cold-formed steel as well as working on many seismic retrofits of historic unreinforced masonry buildings.