This past decade has seen huge innovations for wood engineering in terms of urban development. In both commercial and residential applications, more and more structures are being constructed utilizing heavy timbers and various laminated wood techniques. Furthermore, these structures utilizing wood for construction not only promote sustainable forests, but also reduces the carbon footprint by storing it.
Take a peek into the construction feat's of the past decade, and more than likely the future. Down below are 15 of the most fascinating mass timber structures from around the world.
At the time of its completion in 2009, the Stadthaus was one of the tallest residential structures in the world. However, as time progresses, the urban development and forest industries have become more accepting of mass timber buildings. That being said, for its time the Stadthaus was highly innovative in its usage of mass timbers for load-bearing walls, stairs, and floor slabs.
City: London, United Kingdom
14. Bullitt Center
Built to be have a 250 year lifespan, this heavy timber structure is one of the largest net positive energy buildings in the world. The building being equipped with solar panels, rainwater-to-potable water, and its own compost sewage has made it a certified living building. The Bullitt Center is home to the Bullitt Foundation, the University of Washington, Sonos, and more.
City: Seattle, Washington
13. Forte Living
Standing at 105.6 feet, the Forte Living is not only Australia’s first wooden building to be built from cross laminated timber, it is the world’s tallest modern timber apartment building as of 2012. Building of the 10 story structure with engineered mass timber components instead of traditional materials purportedly reduced carbon emissions by 690 tonnes.
City: Docklands, Australia
12. Kiln Apartments
Built to maximize natural energy sources and minimum energy consumption, the Kiln Apartments is equipped with solar thermal roof panels for hot water radiants, centralized heat recovery ventilator, and inset windows fitted with sunshades. At the time of its construction, the Kiln Apartments achieved its renewable energy goal by becoming the first mass timber apartment building in the United States to achieve the Passive House certification. This certification is recognized worldwide, and it is only awarded to buildings that can cut energy consumption by 90% when compared to conventional buildings.
City: Portland, Oregon
11. World Innovation Design Centre
At its completion in 2014, the Wood Innovation Design Centre was the tallest modern all timber wood building standing at 97 feet tall. Since then, it has been surpassed several times over as mass timber buildings are proving to be sustainable and more accepted. Fittingly enough, the WIDC serves as a home for academics, researchers, and design professionals to meet and discuss innovative wood solutions. The concept of the building was conceived to display how engineered mass timber products could benefit mid and high rise structures.
City: British, Columbia
10. T3 Minneapolis
T3, short for, timber, technology, transit, opened its doors in November 2016 as the largest mass timber building in the United States. The T3 provides retail and office spaces for lease.
City: Minneapolis, Minnesota
9. Brock Commons Tallwood House
As of September 2017, the Brock Commons Tallwood House is the tallest contemporary wood building. The construction of the mass timber building was completed less than 70 days after the prefabricated components arrived on site. The Brock Commons Tallwood House’s tenants are students of the University of British Columbia.
Resident Occupancy: 400
City: Vancouver, Canada
8. Albina Yard
Built as a creative office space for small businesses, the Albina Yard mass timber building was the first to use domestically fabricated cross laminated timber in the United States. Just minutes from downtown Portland, the structure was built with the intention of paving the way for the adoption of more renewable mass timber construction technologies.
City: Portland, Oregon
7. International House Sydney
Similar to many other mass timber buildings, the International House Sydney was built to promote sustainability and lowering of the exacerbated carbon footprint caused by urban development. Aside from the concrete foundation, the structure’s most unique feature is that the entirety of the six floors above the ground were constructed utilizing only mass timber products.
City: Sydney, Australia
Not only is the Origine considered to be North America’s tallest residential building, the structure only required four months to be constructed due to its utilization of engineered mass timber components and materials. The 13 story condominium lends an effort to a positive environmental impact by having a white waterproof membrane to reflect solar heat, and a gas central heating system for hot water and gas heated flooring.
City: Quebec, Canada
Upon its completion in 2018, the residential condominiums became the tallest wooden building in the United States. Carbon12 claims to be better equipped to handle any natural disaster than any other residential building in the United States. You can find this glass and timber structural showcase in the Mississippi District of Portland.
City: Portland, Oregon
4. Puukuokka Housing Block
The Puukuokka Housing Block is comprised of a trio of energy efficient and ecological multi-story wooden apartment buildings. In its entirety, the housing complex offers homes for 184 households, from single bedrooms and multi-bedroom apartments. At the time of it’s completed construction in 2015, the Puukuokka One was the first eight story high wooden apartment in Finland. The accompanying apartments in the complex were finished in 2017 and 2018.
Resident Occupancy: 184 households
City: Jyväskylä, Finland
3. Daramu House
Derived from the aboriginal Sydney language, Daramu means tree. Therefore, the structure is aptly named tree house. Trivia aside, the Daramu House utilized recycled hardwoods to significantly reduce its carbon footprint. Additionally, the six story retail building is fitted with 700 sqm of solar photovoltaic cells and rooftop planting for rain capture. Upon its completion in 2019, the Daramu House neighbors the aforementioned International House Sydney
City: Sydney, Australia
2. T3 West Midtown (Atlanta)
Following the completion of the T3 Minneapolis, construction began shortly thereafter on T3 West Midtown. Conveniently located within the Atlantic Station neighborhood of Atlanta, the 7 story structure surpasses the previous T3 building as the largest mass timber project in the United States. The heavy timbers used in construction were sourced from managed and sustainable forests.
City: Atlanta. Georgia
As of 2019, the Mjostarnet is the tallest mass timber building in the world and the third tallest building in all of Norway. Standing at 280 feet tall with 18 stories, the mixed use building features office space, apartments, a hotel, a ground-floor restaurant, and an adjoining public bath! Intended as a green shift symbol for the country, everything from top to bottom was using engineered mass timbers, even the elevators. Some of the building materials are comprised of cross laminated timbers, structural columns, and large scale interior timber trusses.
City: Brumunddal, Norway