Norway to build world’s tallest timber building

“Mjøstårnet” will be more than 80 metres tall, and stand 30 metres higher than what is today considered the world’s tallest timber building.

Mjøstårnet is named after its neighbour and Norway’s largest lake Mjøsa. The record-breaking construction will sit 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 Oslo.  

Mjøstårnet, illustration: Voll Arkitekter AS

Spanning over 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 Mjøsa-local 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 heights. 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,” says the inventor of the project,  Arthur Buchardt.

Photo: Moelven Limtre AS (Anti/Jens Haugen)


Arthur Buchardt states that he can evidence the climate friendliness of building with wood. “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,” 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,” says Buchardt.

Illustration: Voll Arkitekter

Mjøstårnet is the world’s tallest?

According to director Rune Abrahamsen of Moelven Limtre AS, the answer is mainly because “HoHo-tower” in Vienna – which will stand 84 metres tall – will not be defined as a timber building. “For a start, Hoho is not a timber building according to how the definition of this will be. It’s a wood-concrete-hybrid building – also known as a composite. Second, the building will not be completed until a month after “Mjøstårnet” is completed. But the latter is a moot point if the first is correct. And there is little doubt that this will be the case,” Abrahamsen says.  

Photo: Moelven Limtre AS (Anti/Jens Haugen)

Both “Treet” in Bergen and “Mjøstårnet” in Brumunddal will be defined as timber buildings, while buildings with supporting concrete cores – such as “HoHo” in Vienna and Brock Commons in Vancouver – will be defined as wood-concrete hybrid buildings – or composite buildings. Subsequently one may expect that Mjøstårnet will be named the world’s tallest timber building when completed,” Abrahamsen says.

Wood most important

Abrahamsen nevertheless emphasizes that for Moelven and the environment in general, it is important that smart wood solutions are used in as many buildings as possible, preferably in combination with other materials, regardless of whether the building is defined as one thing or the other.

“And we can contribute to this. The composite buildings in Vienna and Vancouver demonstrate how one can build tall and large buildings with a lot of wood. Although the buildings are not defined as timber buildings, they are outstanding examples of how one can achieve major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by combining materials,” he says.

Source: Moelven Industrier ASA

28.1.2018 / News