If all goes according to plan, Mjøstårnet will become the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper in March 2019. The 18-story high-rise is being built in Brumunddal, about 90 minutes north of Oslo. At 81 meters tall, the building will include apartments, a hotel, a restaurant, offices and common areas.
Up until 1997, buildings taller than three stories were not allowed to be made of timber in Norway. A fire devastated the city of Ålesund in the early 1900s. This new building is not in jeopardy of causing the next major fire. Because of the use of glue laminated timber, it is safer than most buildings in Norway when it comes to fire safety. The use of this glue doesn’t allow the beams to burn the way traditional wooden beams do. They simply form a layer of charcoal which stops the fire from spreading and helps keep the structure intact.
In a 5-part video series by Moelven, Arthur Buchardt, the project initiator, describes the reasoning behind using locally sourced timber. “That’s part of our sustainable movement being put into practice,” he said. Sourcing spruce locally can decrease the carbon footprint of a building by up to 85%. “Sustainability and climate are just a few of the many things to take into account,” says Buchardt.
If being fireproof and sustainable weren’t enough, Mjøstårnet has yet another feature that makes it stand out. The crew is building it in five stages without any external scaffolding; the beams and columns are assembled on the ground and then put in place with a crane. You can learn more about the project by watching the video series, available on YouTube in English and Norwegian. Each episode highlights a different aspect of the building project.
Image Credit: Moelven