Large-scale engineered wood products present the possibility of turning dense urban aggregations of buildings and infrastructure into a new human-made carbon sink, argues Yale’s Alan Organschi. A design principal and partner at Gray Organschi Architecture in New Haven and founder of the fabrication workshop and construction management firm JIG Design, Organschi will discuss an alternative approach to meeting the building sector’s demand for raw material and energy for new construction: the broad substitution of emerging mass timber and bio-based building assemblies in the construction of new cityscapes. This potentially massive transfer of large-scale engineered wood products from sustainably managed forests into dense urban aggregations of buildings and infrastructure would form a new human-made carbon sink, turning the future city from a significant source of carbon emissions into a carbon storage system functioning in healthy synergy with global forests.
Organschi also directs the newly inaugurated Yale Building Project LAB. His Timber City initiative examines the application of emerging structural wood fiber technologies and carbon sequestration strategies in the construction of global cities. He is a coauthor of the upcoming book The Carbon Guidebook: A Field Manual For Building Designers and the website decarbonizedesign.com.
This lecture is part of “Towards a New Architecture: Climate change and design,” a series of discussions held by New York’s Architectural League in which leading practitioners and educators describe the urgent need for change and sketch the outlines of new ways of thinking and acting as architects and landscape architects. On each evening, respondents will draw out the implications of the ideas presented and offer suggestions for implementing them at a speed and scale commensurate with the climate emergency.