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D.C. Architects Plan A CLT Skyscraper In Philadelphia

Since the turn of the century, Philadelphia’s skyline transformation has been led by the construction of not one, but two Comcast towers that now preside over the crowd in Center City.

If you peer west and 30 years into the future, city planners promise a drastically extended downtown that shimmers on both sides of the Schuylkill River. Alive and seemingly well would be an apt way to describe the forecast for Philadelphia’s construction boom. But with increasing urgency to adopt more sustainable approaches to urban development, one Washington, D.C. architecture firm wants Philly to become a trailblazer in the future of high-rise construction.

Specifically, it wants Comcast to build its rumored third tower out of wood — mass timber, to be exact. “When you think of a skyscraper, you’re usually dealing with steel or concrete,” said Sean McTaggart, project architect at Hickok Cole. “The problem with those two materials is that they cause a lot of carbon emissions.”

McTaggart and his colleagues recently submitted their dazzling Timber Towers project to the Skyhive Skyscrapers Challenge, a conceptual design competition that encourages entrants to showcase their creativity within the realm of what can actually be achieved.

Mass timber isn’t to be confused with the material you see in most cabins and cottages. It’s an engineered product that uses cross-laminated panels as the primary load-bearing structure of a building, as opposed to accents or other design elements.

From Philly Voice:

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