Sweden’s Tallest Timber Building

A residential tower in Kajstaden, Central Sweden, designed by C.F. MØller Architects, has become the country’s tallest timber building. All the parts of the building are constructed using cross-laminated wood which includes walls, joists, balconies, and even the lift and stairwell shafts.

The tall timber building is an important landmark for sustainable architecture and climate responsive design. The tower is nine floors high which has an elevated ground floor and the top floor has a double-height ceiling. The timber used is produced with high precision technology that results in airtight and energy-efficient houses without any unnecessary insulation material in the walls.

The entire building has been constructed using mechanical joints with screws, which makes it possible to disassemble the whole structure so that materials could be recycled. Use of solid timber instead of concrete helps in saving 550 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission. The reason for using cross-laminated wood as the major construction material is that it is renewable, recyclable and has a lower carbon footprint than any other building material.

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The building has four flats on each floor ranging from one to five rooms in size. All the living rooms are designed to look over the harbor; taking advantage of the scenic view, water bodies have to offer. The design has boxes like form with staggered windows providing maximum natural light into the house. The frame of each storey was constructed in just three days. The form was specially designed to complement the surroundings and the aesthetics of the industrial harbor.

The building is covered with dark timber cladding produced from stained thermo wood, a type of Scandinavian softwood that can withstand heavy weather conditions. Timber being a renewable raw material has many advantages like low energy consumption and reduced carbon footprints. The low weight of the timber means safer, quicker construction and lower transportation costs. Wood technology offers a value-adding perspective in all stages of construction and is important for the goal of bio- circular economy.

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The firm is currently engaged in even bigger construction projects, focused on the use of solid timber in Sweden and the UK. C.F. MØller hopes to push timber construction in a more sustainable direction for a better peaceful living environment.

“It’s not, however, an easy task getting the industry to adopt and understand the new opportunities that timber presents. It’s therefore crucial that we learn from our experiences, e.g. what we’ve learned from Kajstaden in Västerås. We can thereby continue to build on our experiences. One of our reasons for establishing the Nordic Network for Tall Wood Buildings is to facilitate this exchange of experiences,” says Peder Fynholm.

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Shreya Jindal
Shreya Jindal
Shreya Jindal is an Architecture student from MBS school of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. She has an avid interest in learning about new advances and innovations in the field. According to her, Architecture is a lot about understanding the psychology of the built form and the people and surroundings around it. She has tried her best to reflect the same in her writings and is hopeful that readers will be inspired by how architecture evolves living.

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