ABSTRACT: In many countries in the present day, timber is considered to be suitable only for finishes rather than the structure of permanent multi-storey buildings, and yet, before the advent of steel and concrete, timber was used either exclusively or together with masonry for buildings of great size and height. This paper will describe examples of tall timber buildings, including some that are unusual in size and others extant after hundreds or even a thousand years-long after steel would have rusted away. Many of these examples stand as evidence that present-day code height limits, which in some countries are as low as two stories, are drastically over conservative. Timber-if grown and harvested using sustainable practicescan provide a ‘green’ alternative to steel and reinforced concrete even for large buildings. This can contribute significantly to a reduction in fossil fuel resource depletion and greenhouse gas emissions.