Author: David Rowlinson
Norway has a long and rich history of wooden structures and boasts some wood buildings more than 800 years old that are still standing. Even so, the architects who designed the ‘Treet’ building (it means ‘tree’ in Norwegian) didn't set out to produce the world's tallest wood building in Bergen, but when faced with building restrictions and a nearby bridge, it soon became an elegant and logical solution.
Cross laminated timber (CLT), combined with offsite prefabrication, provided a powerful and incredibly accurate combination. For example, the wooden elevator shaft was built far quicker and cheaper than traditional steel and concrete shafts. Overall, the project design team estimate that at least two months of construction time was saved compared with more conventional construction methods.
Treet's total height is 52.8 metres and includes 550 cubic metres of glulam and 385 cubic metres of CLT that stands on top of a concrete garage with foundations piled on the bedrock.
Most importantly, the project will store approximately one thousand tonnes of CO2 in the wooden construction. The carbon that is locked away in the timber structure will remain there for the life of the building, keeping it out of the atmosphere and helping to tackle climate change.
The record could soon be beaten by an 18-storey student housing project at the University of British Columbia, due to be completed next year.