Fast Company's Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan takes a closer look at building with timber, and whether it's as environmentally friendly as it seems.

The material recently experienced a major renewal, with esteemed architects proposing 80-story timber-clad skyscrapers and U.S. architects clamoring to clinch the title of the tallest wood building in the country.

"Fueled by the wood products industry (a $200 billion market, if you include paper), sustainability issues, and emerging ideas from building science, wood buildings are no longer pastoral artifacts. According to many scientists and architects—and not a few wood lobbyists—they’re the future. But not everyone agrees.

The one thing everyone agrees on? We need more data. "Additional funding to support this research is needed to advance our knowledge and enable us to make informed decisions," writes Architect Kate Simonen, who directs the research-focused Carbon Leadership Forum."

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