20-Story Skyscraper in Swedish Town That’s Made Entirely of Wood Is Helping Combat Climate Change


Wooden buildings are making their comeback. This one is taller, more sustainable, and it’s bigger.

Sara House of Culture is about 250 feet high, and because it’s made entirely of cross-laminated and glue-laminated timber, this new landmark is one of the tallest wooden buildings globally. 

After six years of planning, The House of Culture opened in early September in Skellefteå, Sweden, about 500 miles north of Stockholm.

The building is 20 stories high and includes two art galleries, the city library, a conference center, restaurants, six theater stages, and a 205-room hotel. 

But, why not return to the good old days of wood? According to the International Energy Agency (IAEA), the cement industry is responsible for around seven percent global carbon dioxide emissions. 

Wood used to build the Sara House of Culture was sourced from sustainable, local forests. To reduce CO2 emissions, the wood was transported only 31 miles from the building site to a mill.

The sun generates electricity through solar panels. Excess energy is stored in batteries to power other parts. 

The building’s sprinkler system uses renewable energy. Diesel sprinklers are used in most buildings.

Sara House of Culture is a pioneer in the fight against climate change. She shows how old methods can be combined with new technology.

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