Wooden Skyscraper in Västerås
Project NameWooden Skyscraper in Västerås, Sweden, by CF Moller
Photographer DetailsNikolaj Jakobsen
C.F Moller have just completed Sweden’s tallest timber building, which is beginning to accept its first tenants. The building is made of solid engineered timber, and is situated in Västerås, an hour from Stockholm. Those involved are positive the innovative building will be a landmark for the area and a benchmark for a sustainable future.
Swedish based Architecture firm C.F Moller has recently shifted focus to the use of timber in construction, as this can create huge CO2 savings. The environmental benefits are coupled with social and wellbeing benefits, with studies showing timber can create positive atmosphere and climactic conditions inside buildings.
The tower is situated in the Kajstaden district of Västerås. Though only an hour drive from Stockholm, the town has a rural feel, with beautiful views of Lake Mälaren. Kajstaden Tower is 8.5 storeys high, due to an elevated ground floor and a double volume top floor.
Timber was chosen for the project based on several key properties of the material. The lightweight material has excellent load bearing qualities, with an extremely high strength to weight ratio being obtained through engineered timber. Wood, due to its water content and propensity to char, also has a higher fire rating than steel and concrete. These are both critical qualities required for large or medium scale buildings that require high performance and load bearing strength.
“Wood technology facilitates a value-adding lifecycle perspective in all stages of construction and is crucial to the goal of a bio-based circular economy. The total carbon-dioxide savings from use of solid wood instead of concrete are estimated at 550 tonnes of CO2 over the building’s life,” says Rob Marsh, sustainability manager at C.F. Møller Architects
All structural elements of the building, including walls, beams, balconies, lifts and stairwells, are made of cross-laminated timber.
Each of the floors contains four units, which were assembled by a team of three craftsmen in just three days each. Prefabricating the panels allowed for extremely quick and precise assembly, while the use of mechanical joints and screws ensures the materials are able to be disassembled and re-used where required.
The building was developed in close collaboration with Martinsons, Bjerking and Consto AB, with Slättö Förvaltning as the client.
The building is unique in the timber multi storey structure movement, in that the engineered timber is used as exterior cladding as well as structure. The CNC cut timber provides an air and water tight seal, that is naturally fire resistant and energy efficient.