The recent disastrous fire that consumed most of the roof structure of the Notre Dame cathedral got me thinking once again about the fragile nature of our wood supply.
The roof structure was built at a time when there was a plentiful supply of already ancient timber. That kind of material is simply not available in today’s market, no matter how much money is made available for the restoration project.
My bet is that the damaged or destroyed components will not be remade using wood at all but will be steel or plastics.
Aside from the practical reasons to use materials other than wood, the difficulty in obtaining materials are equivalent to those used in the original structure point to alternatives.
It might be argued that, had the builders had access to materials like structural steel and fiberglass, the first choice might not have been wood to begin with.