CLT McDonald’s in Chicago (and meeting old friend)

Stopped off in Chicago to have a couple beers with my old Iraq colleague Michael W. Fox. Actually, he had wine.

Like many big cities, maybe more than many, Chicago has undergone a renaissance, becoming more pleasant and more diverse.

Michael is very proud of his home city and showed me lots of the architecture. Not sure what the typical Chicago food would be, but ribs would be on the short list, so we went to a ribs place.

Mass timber and McDonald’s

The architecture I was most interested in seeing was not the most magnificent. I wanted to see the new McDonald’s finished last year using mass timber, cross laminated timber (CLT) and gluelam. I don’t love the ultra modern outside look, but I love the material. Wood is good.

Greater use of mass timber to renew and rebuild our cities is an ecological imperative. Using concrete and steel too much will be more than our environment can bear. CLT can do the job. Wood is the most benign building material and we can grow it regeneratively.

I am sure my friend Susan Jones is familiar with this building, but let me provide a few more pictures and the personal experience.

It is great that McDonald’s is building with CLT. They have the market power and the ubiquity to make a difference. Michael and I enjoyed some McDonald’s food. You can park for free for 30 minutes, enough to eat the fast food. If you stay longer it costs you $12 an hour.

Anyway, kudos to McDonald’s.

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