Mjos timber tower under construction
By March 2019 the Mjøs Tower in Norway will be the world’s tallest timber building. Photo: ©Anti/Jens Haugen

Glulam building in Norway sets new record

A piece of world-beating timber engineering is nearing completion on a lake’s edge in Norway.

When it is finished in March next year, the 18 storey, 81m high structure will be the tallest wooden building in the world.

Being built at Brumundal about an hour north of Oslo by the Scandinavian timber-based building products and systems giant Moelven, the multi-functional apartment block is being put together a bit like Lego.

The core structural elements are huge glulaminated spruce beams and the storeys goes up in increments of four or five levels – hoisted into position by a giant crane.

Wide exterior showing giant crane
Four-five levels are assembled on-ground and swung into place in one lift. Photo: ©Anti/Jens Haugen

No trial assembly

The assembly technique is new and untested until now. The glulam beams are taken directly to the building site, without any form of trial assembly.

“This is accuracy taken to the extreme,” says Rune Abrahamsen, director at Moelven Limtre. “The beams arrive fully processed at the site, and there they have to fit down to a millimetre. There is no scope for errors in the assembly.

“The principle is almost like Lego for grown-ups. All of the pieces have specific places and must fit.”

The new standard

The assemble-and-hoist technique is much faster than conventional hi-rise construction and Abrahamsen expects it will become the new standard for similar glulam structures.

The company says the project is an important contribution to making the international building industry more environmentally friendly.

Moelven is now working with a consortium to design and build a 150m high glulam timber tower.

©Natural Images 2018

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