A 14-story luxury apartment block in central Bergen, Norway, will be the world's tallest timber-framed multifamily project, at 49 meters (160 feet). The current record-holder, Melbourne's Forté building, is 32 meters tall.
The Norwegian facility, called Treet or "The Tree," is being created by the Bergen and Omegn Building Society (BOB) and already has half of its 62 apartments sold. The structural system will consist of meter-thick glulam columns in a stacked modular design. When all modules are in place, the building will be covered with a glass-and-metal facade. Ole Kleppe, project manager for BOB, told Norwegian newspaper The Local that he expects the facility will have significant carbon-sequestering properties. The building's apartment modules have been designed to comply with the Passivhaus sustainability standard.
The Norway office of the Scandinavian structural engineering firm Sweco is collaborating with architect Artec. Moelven is working on the glulam and CLT structural elements, and Kodumaja will produce the building modules. In a detailed presentation at the 2014 International Wood Symposium at Vancouver, Sweco's Rune B. Abrahamsen said the project is based, in part, on prior feasibility studies for tall wood-framed structures in Kirkenes and Stavanger, Norway. He reports that the intial cost is somewhat higher than that of a steel and/or concrete structure, but the erection time is shorter. Abrahamsen also points to the longevity of the nation's iconic timber structures, such as the Hopperstad Stave Church.
Completion is expected in fall 2015.