According to the architectural firm behind the proposal, Rüdiger Lainer and Partner, building with wood is radically more environmentally-friendly than a typical building structure of steel and concrete. 76 per cent of HoHo tower’s structure is to be built from wood, and when compared to a similar structure made from steel and concrete, the HoHo tower saves an enormous 2,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Those 2,800 tonnes worth of emissions are equivalent to driving 25 miles, roughly 40km, daily for 1,300 years.
Furthermore, research from Columbia University attributes 5 per cent of all CO2 emissions to the production of cement, which is a key ingredient of concrete.
Trees on the other hand actively combat the issue of CO2 emissions, as they absorb the emissions as they grow. Providing they are responsibly and sustainably sourced, they clearly provide a far more environmentally-friendly building material.
A wooden structure in terms of fire safety hasn’t been quite so favourable. The Vienna fire department have voiced their concerns about opting for wood over steel and concrete. As a result they are now working with the architecture firm to ensure the safety of the building, including the development of “a more fail-safe sprinkler system.”
Caroline Palfy, the HoHo tower’s project developer, speaks to the importance of allowing people to think in different ways, allowing for creative differences and diversity. Palfy also notes that wood was a suitable building material 200 years ago, and is just as suitable today.
65 million euros will be invested into the construction of the HoHo tower. Although still pending a final formal approval, construction is set to begin later this year with completion in 2018.