Stretching a full 173 feet into the sky, a 14-story tower made primarily of wood is set to be built in Norway, making it the world’s tallest. With so many wooden superstructures on the docket, the title is constantly up for grabs, and this sustainable housing project in Bergen may not hold onto it for long. But it’s a testament to just how popular wooden towers are getting as governments around the world relax their building restrictions, paving the way for a whole new world of wooden architecture.
Ole Kleppe and Rune Abrahamsen didn’t intend to create the world’s tallest building when planning their cost-efficient, modular high-rise, which is primarily prefabricated. But after their project was approved, a competing bridge close by meant additional height was needed. Norway previously only allowed buildings nine stories tall, so the team had to simultaneously push for new laws and innovate a safe, strong structure.
It’s fitting that this kind of record-setting innovation using wood should occur in Norway, where wooden buildings up to 800 years old are still standing. The architects took their inspiration from Norwegian timber bridges, basically flipping the truss structure vertically.
“We have a lot of experience building large timber bridges in Norway,” says Pbrahamsen. “We were confident that with this tech we could build tall.”
The project, called Treet, is currently under construction. It could be surpassed before long as the University of British Columbia is planning an 18-story student housing project made of wood, scheduled to be completed in 2017. Read more about the tech and building processes involved at the Journal of Commerce.