World’s tallest timber building turns out “slightly higher than planned”

The timber frame has been completed for the "world’s tallest wooden building", and it has turned out to be more than 4m higher than originally designed.

The Mjos Tower, a mixed-use building in Brumunddal, about 100km north of Oslo, was to have been 81m tall. However, when the last beam was put in place on Tuesday (4 September), it turned out to have a better claim to the title than advertised.

The "Mjøstårnet" is being developed by Moelven, the Norwegian wooden fabrication specialist. Rune Abrahamsen, the director of the company, said that after consultation with contractor HENT and the structural engineer Sweco, it was decided to make the building "as high as possible". So, they added a 4.4m pergola to the top, so that the total height of the building was 85.4m.

Abrahamsen said the additional height was made possible by rounding the beams to make them less wind-resistant. He said: "The winds on the top of the building are being held in check by the foundation of the building, which must match. By rounding the edges of the beams, we got the construction to 85.4 meters. The principle is known from flag rods."

The race to build the world’s tallest wooden building has become increasingly energetic, and increasingly acrimonious, in the past few years, with a number of team building structures and making claims for them.

It probably is not entirely coincidental that the other building with a claim to the title, the HoHo-tower in Vienna, designed by RLP Rüdiger Lainer + Partner, is 84m. Moelven had dismissed this as a timber-wood hybrid – but it is nice to put victory beyond doubt.

Image: The pergola beams are craned into position on Tuesday (Moelven)

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