World's Tallest Wood Tower Proposed for Austria


All images credit CREE by Rhomberg

If you thought Waugh Thistleton's Timber Tower was tall, prepare to see it doubled. CREE, (Creative Renewable Energy & Efficiency), is developing "a hybrid construction system for high-rise buildings which is based predominantly on a renewable raw material - wood." Their first project will be a thirty story mixed use building in Dornbirn, Austria.

They do a good job of explaining why we love wood:

Most products which we obtain from the earth's resources involve much more material than their actual weight suggests, as a result of excavation, transportation and processing. According to the renowned chemist and environmental researcher Prof. Friedrich Schmidt-Bleek, every material has an "ecological rucksack". On average, 8 kg of rock and fossil fuels have to be removed from the earth in order to produce one kilogram of steel, 348 kg for one kilogram of copper, while a kilogram of aluminium "actually" weighs 37 kg. In addition, today's industrial community generates tremendous CO2 emissions.

For these reasons, to use wood as the main component for high-rise buildings may at first sight appear to be unusual. However, the advantages are obvious, for no other building material is produced with a similar regard for energy saving. Wood is a naturally renewable raw material, has high strength and low weight, and guarantees optimum heat insulation, durability, noise and vibration damping characteristics. As one of the earth's oldest building materials, wood meets the latest safety requirements even today, and is also 100% recyclable. In urban architecture, wood is therefore an outstanding alternative for the future.


Different claddings can be used, although I think the green wall idea is a bit silly.

The floor is a hybrid of glulam (glued laminated) beams and reinforced concrete. The details show 180 mm (seven inches) of each. They say that it is prefabricated offsite, and that construction time will be half that of conventional construction. I like the integration of services and lighting between the glulam beams.

The building will be built to Passivhaus standards, and they project a 90% reduction in carbon emissions compared to conventional buildings. It is an ambitious project, but the company behind CREE, the Rhomberg Group, is substantial. More on their jazzy but noisy website.

More wood buildings on TreeHugger:

Waugh Thistleton's Timber Tower
Wood Construction Goes Seriously Vertical. But Does it Really Sequester Carbon?
Wood Construction Scales Up
Forest Research Center is Built, Logically, of Wood
School Built From Wood By Sheppard Robson

Tags: Austria | Green Building

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