Norway to build world’s tallest timber building

Currently under construction on the edge of a lake in the small town of Brumunddal, an hour and a half’s drive north of Oslo, Mjøstårnet is claimed to be the world’s tallest timber building yet.

Spanning 18 floors, the building will reach 80 metres high, and include apartments, an indoor swimming pool, hotel, offices, restaurant and communal areas. Construction is scheduled to be completed in December 2018. Moelven, a Scandinavian industrial group, will supply the timber constructions from local spruce forests required to construct the tower and the swimming pool area.

“The assembly and construction of the Mjøstårnet is nothing short of world-class engineering, and will be managed without external scaffolding, despite the complexity of working at height,” said investor behind the project Arthur Buchardt. “We are primarily using cranes and supplementing with lifts as needed. We have reached 33 metres to date, meaning we have 48 metres to go,”.

Climate-friendly

Buchardt commented on the evidence-backed climate-friendliness of timber construction, which was the key driver of the project:

“A project group established by Norwegian road authorities investigated the possibility of building the world’s longest timber bridge across Lake Mjøsa. Their studies show that building with wood instead of concrete can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 30 percent,” he said.

International standards

Buchardt believes that the construction sector will evolve in the footsteps of the automotive industry.

“In 15 years’ time I believe it will be illegal to produce and sell cars that run on fossil fuels. Similarly, I expect that climate-friendly materials will become an international statutory standard,” said Buchardt.

Importance of the Paris climate accord

Arthur Buchardt draws inspiration from the Paris climate agreement.

“You could say that I have had my Eureka moment. I want to help convey an important message with this project. To build with wood is to contribute to the world breathing better,” says Buchardt.

Wants to inspire

Buchardt hopes that his ambitions to build the world’s tallest timber building may inspire others.

“Through Mjøstårnet we demonstrate that it is possible to construct large, complex wooden buildings. The planned construction of the Norwegian Government quarter can become a wooden landmark internationally,” said Buchardt.