Michael Green: Increments of Change: From Early Tall Wood Buildings to a Global Movement

Color photo of wood truss and wood-clad ceiling interior space

photo / provided

FXFOWLE Lecture for Sustainability, Urbanism, and Design

Michael Green (B.Arch. '89) is an architect known for his research, leadership, and advocacy in promoting the use of wood in the built environment. He lectures internationally on the subject, including a 2013 TED talk titled "Why We Should Build Wooden Skyscrapers," which has been viewed more than a million times. Green founded his architecture firm Michael Green Architecture and his not-for-profit school Design Build Research to focus on progressive architecture, research, education, and innovation. Based in Vancouver, Green and his team strive to contribute to meaningful and sustainable change in building through innovation in construction sciences and design. Green has been honored with North America's most prestigious awards, including two Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Innovation Awards and three Governor General's Medals (the highest awards for a Canadian architect), along with numerous North American Wood Design Awards and International Interior Design Awards. In 2014, Green received an honorary doctorate from the University of Northern British Columbia.


We stand at the edge of a systemic shift in the way we build and the way we live. As the world searches for ways to address environmental and climate issues, we have come to realize that living more densely is fundamental to the future of humankind and to our relationship with our planet.

Wood is the only major building material we can build with that is grown by the sun. Its strength to weight is phenomenal, and man-made energy is only used to handle it and move it to a site. One cubic meter of wood stores one ton of carbon dioxide. The only way we address anthropogenic climate change is by storing carbon and reducing our emissions. Wood does both.

Over the last decade, a new conversation about sustainable cities and climate change has questioned the methods of the past, and through a host of innovators and global voices for change, we have seen a new revolution of tall wood buildings around the world.

Related Links
Michael Green's Website
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