Timber is making a comeback. Mjøstårnet, named after its neighbour and Norway’s largest lake, Mjøsa will be the world’s tallest timber building. Situated on the edge of the north-eastern tip of the lake in the small town of Brumunddal, an hour and a half’s drive north of Norway's capital Oslo, the wood building will reach 80 metres high and will span 18 floors.
“Mjøstårnet sets new standards for timber constructions. The building is the closest we come to a skyscraper in timber,” said investor Arthur Buchardt of AB Invest AS
The record-breaking construction's overall size will be around 15,000 m2, and will include apartments, hotel, offices, restaurant and communal areas. The project will also include a modern swimming facility around 4,000 m2 in size.
Moelven Limtre AS., a Mjøsa-local Scandinavian industrial group, will be the turnkey subcontractor and will supply timber from local spruce forests for the tower structure and the swimming pool area. Voll Arkitekter are the architects behind the project.
Timber, an ecologically sustainable and traditional material is being used to create lightweight and strong super-materials such as cross-laminated timber, or CLT, and glue-laminated timber, commonly known as glulam.
“The main structure is based on glulam, with slab elements consisting of a combination of glulam and Kerto, and façades as wooden elements. This is a response to the "green shift," and proof that wood is a material that can compete with traditional solutions in high-rises too, enabling climate-friendly building as long as one is committed to that,” said Buchardt.
Construction is scheduled to be completed in December 2018.
Currently, the tallest timber construction is the Brock Commons Tallwood Residence located at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver , Canada. Standing 53 meter high, the 18-storey skyscraper was completed in the summer of 2017 at a cost of USD $52 million.
The building, described as a hybrid, because the stair and elevator cores are poured concrete, was designed by Canadian practice Acton Ostry Architects with Austrian practice Architekten Hermann Kaufmann acting as tall wood advisors. Brock Commons houses 404 students in 272 studios and 33 four-bedroom units, and features study and social gathering spaces.
Both buildings serve as a proof of concept, showing that wooden skyscrapers can become a common occurrence and that it is possible to build high rise structures in an eco-friendly manner.