Urbanization and the evolution of modern cities have led to the development of high-rise building constructions, but what is the real environmental impact of these buildings? Traditionally designed with concrete as the main structural material, their construction implies an increase of CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere, air pollution and a rise in energy and water consumption. These consequences call for the development of new sustainable strategies outside of the industry’s comfort zone, such as the incorporation of wood as a structural element. Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) has emerged as a new structural strategy that Chilean architects have begun to incorporate into the country’s architecture, adapted to local conditions and norms.
The ‘Tamango Project’ by Tallwood architects is an example of the challenges and opportunities of wood construction in the country and the region, as it might potentially be the first 12-storey building with an engineered timber structure. Changing the traditional construction paradigms of the area, Tamango represents a step into sustainable solutions that follow an integrated design process through all the stages of an architectural project.