19.01.2015  | Ed. Züblin AG

MERK Timber delivering LENO® elements for world’s tallest timber building

Züblin subsidiary MERK Timber producing 360 massive LENO® cross-laminated timber elements

Stuttgart, 19 January 2015 A project of superlatives is currently under construction in the Norwegian port city of Bergen, offering further proof that timber is gaining ground as a construction material and that the manifold possibilities of timber are being increasingly explored within contemporary architecture. Commissioned by Norwegian housing association Bergen og Omegn Boligbyggelag (BOB), and following a design by Artec Arkitekter, work on the world’s tallest timber residential building began here in the autumn of 2014. ‘Treet’ (The Tree), which will have a total height of about 50m, already is the number one topic of discussion in the industry. And Züblin’s timber construction entity has a part in the project. The contract (total value of approx. € 250,000) for delivery of all LENO® cross-laminated timber (CLT) elements for the stairwells, stairs, lift shafts, landings and balconies, plus the development of a working design, was awarded to Züblin subsidiary MERK Timber GmbH of Aichach, Germany.

Floors 1–5 of the 14-storey building rising on a 4,600m² property along Puddefjorden have already been completed. The structure rests on a concrete foundation above the garage and consists of stacked, prefabricated apartment modules supported by a loadbearing glulam timber framework to provide the necessary structural stability. A maximum of four prefabricated timber modules, complete with insulation, flooring, electrical wiring and built-in cabinets, are stacked on top of each other. Each fifth floor is then reinforced with concrete slabs to not only improve the building’s structural stability but also to serve as a platform for the next four floors. This modular method of construction, with its high degree of prefabrication, reduces construction times, costs less and is more environmentally friendly. The massive, large-format LENO® CLT elements (16m tall x 3m wide) used in the stairwell and lift shafts are being prefabricated for a perfect fit by MERK Timber in Aichach and will be delivered to the construction site using just-in-time delivery. A total of 10 trucks with oversize loads will make their way from Aichach in Germany to Bergen in Norway to transport all of the LENO® elements. On-site assembly will be handled by MERK client Moelven Limtre AS.

The 62 apartments, which will be ready for occupancy as early as autumn this year, will combine all the amenities of an energy-efficient passive house with the healthy indoor climate of a timber building. The north- and south-facing glass façades as well as the Corten weathering steel in the east and west will protect the structural timber from rain. Spectacular views of the fjord landscape are guaranteed from the rooftop terrace and from the top-floor fitness room. A Japanese garden and a planted courtyard will complete a living experience that promises to be as close to natural as possible.