The 'Yellow' treehouse in New Zealand


The design for this treehouse was inspired by a chrysalis. The treehouse, a restaurant, was a marketing stunt by Yellow in New Zealand where all the parts and services to create the treehouse were found via yellow pages. Here's a short documentary about the stunt. The walkway is built using redwood and the fins and slats are built from sustainably grown pine and poplar. The Yellow Treehouse Restaurant was open for a couple of months during 2008/2009 when the ownership of the treehouse passed to the landowner who has renamed it the Redwoods Treehouse.


The structure uses glulam (glued laminated timber) which is used as a replacement for steel. A 2002 case study of Oslo airport compared energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and found it takes two to three times more energy and six to twelve times more fossil fuels to manufacture steel beams than it does to manufacture glulam beams.

Compared to steel the manufacture of glulam beams requires 140kWh of energy per 1m2 of
roof, of which 32kWh is fossil fuel, 16kWh is electricity, and 92kWh is bioenergy. Manufacture of the steel beams requires 279kWh of energy per m2, of which 201kWh is fossil fuel and 78kWh is electricity. If the steel beams are made of primary steel from ore, rather than recycled steel, their manufacture requires 455 kWh of energy. If the wooden beams are burned at the end of their service life, more energy can be recovered than was used to manufacture the beams.