Hearing the call of the 2015 Paris Agreement, Arthur Buchardt, a Norwegian property developer, began thinking about how he could lead a new age of low-carbon construction right in his hometown of Brumunddal. His answer is Mjøstårnet, which on completion is set to become the world’s tallest timber tower, at 85.4m. The 18-storey building will be home to offices, a hotel, restaurants, apartments and a swimming pool, and has brought together various partners to set a new benchmark for tall timber buildings. The project has emphasised local sourcing of materials and expertise, with many components manufactured at a factory just a short hop along the main road.
To break records and construct a wooden building of such great height, Mjøstårnet has had to overcome numerous challenges, and use new and untested assembly techniques. Components delivered to site come predrilled, and are assembled at ground level in sections 4–5 storeys high before being lifted into place. This quick technique means that there is no need for external scaffolding – just one large crane. As a timber construction is so light, it has to be designed to withstand flex from strong wind, and is deeply anchored over 50m down to the bedrock. Fire safety has also been of paramount importance for a wooden building of this size, and each floor forms its own fire compartment which has been tested to burn out before losing any structural integrity.
Photo credits: Anti/Jens Edgar Haugen.