Wood as the Construction Material of our Time

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Wood as the Construction Material of our Time

The construction sector is asked to build 3 billion more housing units, yet it cannot continue the ‘business as usual’ notion and continue construction with concrete and steel; not unless with catastrophic results for the environment (3)(4). Nevertheless, Engineered Timber industry expansion and its breakthroughs in common years in manufacturing Glulam, LVL and CLT products have been able to transform wood into a sustainable material for construction since the producer of wood is the Sun 17. Although a critic toward building with wood has always been about ‘we do not have enough trees’, through Sustainable Forestry in North America, Scandinavia, and Australia, governments have been able to increase their forest’s land coverage and quantity whilst providing the construction sector with massive supplies of engineered timber products18.
This figure of [Area of forest certified under sustainable forest management by region] have been removed in this publication due to copyright reasons
Through sustainable forestry and engineered timber industry, not only forests are not in danger but also because of the carbon sequestration ability of the wood, when we use woods as construction materials, we make its carbon sequestration ability longlasting19.
Figure 14 Carbon cycle for a natural forest. retrieved from Green, Michael, and Jim Taggart. Tall Wood Buildings: Design, Construction and Performance, Walter de Gruyter GmbH, 2017. ProQuest eBook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/umeaub-ebooks/detail page 16 accessed (23/04/2020)
Figure 15 Carbon cycle for a managed forest yielding traditional solid sawn wood products. retrieved from Green, Michael, and Jim Taggart. Tall Wood Buildings: Design, Construction and Performance, Walter de Gruyter GmbH, 2017. ProQuest eBook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/umeaub-ebooks/detail page 16 accessed (23/04/2020)
In conclusion, current construction sector procedure whereby we dominantly consume concrete and steel have had a devastating impact on our environment. Concurrently, there are significant reasons why we can see wood as a sustainable alternative for concrete and steel therefore, The High Garden thesis has chosen wood to be the paramount construction material of its modules.

Vertical Farming: Past and Present


The idea of using a large multi-storey building to cultivate agriculture products is not a new concept. Vertical Farming first was introduced by an American geologist, Gilbert Ellis Bailey which in his book titled Vertical Farming (1915/2011), Bailey considered this method and his breakthrough as an answer to our current environmental crisis and food security and equity, decades before their occurrence20. He wrote in his book Vertical Farming in 1915:
‘Enables the farmer to farm deeper, to go down to increase area, and to secure larger crops. Instead of spreading out over more land he concentrates on less land and becomes an intensive rather than an extensive agriculturist, and so learns that it is more profitable to double the depth of his fertile land than to double the area’ 21.


Dickson Despommier, PhD, is a microbiologist, an ecologist, and emeritus professor of Public and Environmental Health at the Columbia University22. He believes that every person’s birthright at the minimum should be 2.3 litre of safe drinkable water per day and 1500 calories of safe food every day23. He argues that because of the population growth and urbanization, this mere minimum of birthright is not guaranteed and soon the situation will become worse even for the people inside cities (11)(14). He argues that practising vertical farming on a large scale in urban centres has great potential to help us achieve:
1. sustainably produce enough food to comfortably feed all humankind for the predicted future.
2. allow large portions of land to remain and to become part of the natural landscape restoring ecosystems
3. safely and efficiently use the organic portion of human and agricultural waste to produce energy through methane generation and at the same time, significantly reduce the population of vermin (e.g., rats and cockroaches).
4. re-mediate black water creating a much-needed new strategy for the conservation of drinking water
5. take advantage of abandoned and unused urban spaces
6. break the transmission cycle of agents of disease associated with a focally contaminated environment.
7. allow year-round food production without loss of yields due to climate change or weather-related events
8. eliminate the need for large-scale use of pesticides and herbicides.
9. provide a major new role for agrochemical industries (i.e., designing and producing safe, chemically defined diets for a wide variety of commercially viable plant species.
10. create an environment that encourages sustainable urban life, promoting a state of good health for all those who choose to live in cities. All of this may sound too good to be true, but careful analysis will show that these are all realistic and achievable goals, given the full development of a few new technologies.
In conclusion, Since conventional agriculture (Geoponic) cause a wide range of different problems, vertical farming methods can be alternatives. In general, vertical farming methods are Hydroponics, aeroponics and aquaponics. By using these methods, we can lower the water and land usage of agriculture. Aeroponics systems, for example, can reduce the water usage by 98 per cent, fertilizer usage by 60 per cent, pesticides by 100 per cent whilst maximizing crop yields to only 9 per cent (24).
Hydroponic farming:
In the hydroponic system, plants grow with added nutrients in a certain nutrient tray and without soil. Hydroponics uses only water and nutrients fertilizer to cultivate plants24.
Aeroponic Farming:
Aeroponics is a subgroup of hydroponics. The main difference between the two methods is that in aeroponics, there is no growing medium or tray and the plan grow by misting and spraying rich nutritious water.
Aquaponics Farming:
Aquaponics farming methods rely on the relationship between animals and plants to mimic and produce a stable aquatic environment. Hence the Aquaponics is the intersection point of the aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (soilless growing of plants).

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Table of contents :

The High Garden:
The High Garden
State of The World
CHAPTER I Necessity of Change
1: Problems
1_1: Farming and Land:
1_2: Wasted Food and Water:
1_3: Construction and demolition waste (CDW) and its Co2 footprint:
1_4: Agriculture and Construction global Co2 and greenhouse gas emission:
Chapter II Wood as the Construction Material of our Time
Hydroponic farming:
Aeroponic Farming:
Aquaponics Farming:
CHAPTER IV EcoArchitecture or (AGRITECTURE):
EcoArchitecture of Ken Yeang:
The Editt Tower:
Chapter V The High Garden
Dataism and The High Garden:
Multi-Layer Analysis of Urban Plots
Ancient Japanese Architecture and Interlocking Timber Structure:
Modular Architecture:
CHAPTER VI Conclusion:
Online Resources


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