Author: David Rowlinson
Article first appeared in Dezeen
Mjøstårnet in Brumunddal, Norway, has been verified as the world's tallest timber building by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, CTBUH. The 85.4 metre tall tower was built using cross-laminated timber (CLT), a pioneering material that allows architects to build tall buildings from sustainable wood.
It has taken the title of world's tallest timber building from the 53 metre tall, 18-story Brock Commons Tallwood House in Vancouver, which has a hybrid wood and concrete structure. Treet in Bergen, Norway, which is 49 metres high, was previously the tallest all-timber building in Norway until Mjøstårnet was completed in March 2019.
Mjøstårnet, now the third-tallest building in Norway, was designed by Norwegian practice Voll Arkitekter for AB Invest. The 18-storey mixed-use building contains apartments, the Wood Hotel, swimming pool, office space, and a restaurant.
Timber specialist Moelven Limitre installed the building's timber structure, including elevator shafts made entirely from CLT, and columns made from glued laminated timber (glulam).
Mjøstårnet was built four storeys at a time in five construction stages. An internal scaffolding and a large crane was used to hoist the pre-fabricated sections and floor slabs into place. As Brumunddal is an area of Norway with a major forestry and wood processing industry the materials were sourced locally.
CLT and glulam are strong enough to support large loads, and using timber means the carbon absorbed from the atmosphere by the trees is locked into the structure permanently.
The CTBUH recently revised its guidelines to recognise timber as structural material in response to what it described as an "uptick" in the number of tall timber buildings around the world. As urban areas grow denser than ever and the number of tall buildings being built globally continues to rise, many architects have turned to CLT and other engineered timbers as a more sustainable building alternative.
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