SOM – Urban Sequoia Skyscraper


SOM – Urban Sequoia Skyscraper

What if buildings could act like trees—capturing carbon, purifying the air, and regenerating the environment? Taking inspiration from natural processes and ecosystems, Urban Sequoia envisions “forests” of buildings that create a new carbon-removal economy and a resilient future for cities.

Introduction to SOM Team and Topics

De-Spec – Over the past two years, the Specifications Department at the international Architectural/Engineering firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) has been hard at work “de-carbonizing” and “de-chemicalizing” our SOM Master Specifications and revising them towards more sustainable, responsible projects.

Please join us as we share our work, what we have learned, and what we think still needs to be done.

  • Rowan O. Georges, AIA, Senior Associate Principal – Specifications Writer at SOM
  • Cynthia Heimann, AIA, Associate Principal – Specifications Writer at SOM

Urban Sequoia brings together different strands of sustainable design thinking, the latest innovations, and emerging technologies and reimagines them at the scale of a building. By holistically optimizing building design, minimizing materials, integrating biomaterials, advanced biomass, and carbon capture technologies, Urban Sequoia achieves substantially more significant carbon reductions than has been achieved by applying these techniques separately.

Prometheus Materials delivers sustainable building materials that accelerate the world’s transition to a carbon-negative future. Inspired by biological processes found in nature, the company has developed a technology that uses naturally occurring microalgae to produce a bio-cement that offers a strong and durable alternative to carbon-intensive portland cement. When mixed with aggregate, this bio-cement creates a zero-carbon building material with the mechanical, physical, and thermal properties comparable or, in some cases, superior to portland cement-based concrete.

  • Loren Burnett, President, CEO and Co-Founder at Prometheus Materials