Timber skyscrapers! Yes, timber has returned to prominence and even risen higher into the sky. Not all tall buildings require concrete core and steel bracing to stand tall; two or three trees will do the trick. Structural engineers are now using timber such as cross-laminated timber and glue-laminated timber to develop tall iconic buildings. Here is the list of tallest timber buildings in the world.
Top 7 tallest buildings in the world
- Sanctuary of Truth in Thailand (100 meters tall)
- Ascent MKE in Wisconsin, USA (87 meters tall)
- Mjøstårnet in Norway (85 meters tall)
- Tall Wood Residence, Vancouver, Canada (53 meters tall)
- The Tree in Bergen, Norway (49 meters tall)
- Dalston Lane in London, UK (33 meters tall)
- Forte in Melbourne, Australia (32 meters tall)
1. The Sanctuary of Truth
The Sanctuary of Truth is the tallest wooden building in the world. Its construction began back in 1981 and is still under construction today. This building is made entirely out of wood, specifically Mai Deang, Mai Takien, Mai Panchaat, and Teak.
The structure serves as a museum, a hybrid of a temple and a castle, that is themed on the Ayutthaya Kingdom and of Buddhist and Hindu beliefs. It is currently not complete, however, it is expected to be completed by 2025.
2. Ascent MKE
This is a mass timber hybrid high-rise apartment building located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The building is 87 meters and 25 storeys tall. Noteworthy, Ascent MKE is the world’s tallest mass timber apartment building.
The project was unveiled back in 2018 with an initial design of 21 floors. However, updates and subsequent approvals brought the total number of floors to 25 in March 2020. Actual construction on the Ascent began in August 2020, and the building was completed in August 2022.
The building features a total of 259 luxury apartments, retail space, an elevated pool with operable window walls, and a sky deck.
The 85-meter-high tower claimed the title of the tallest timber building in the world after it was completed in March 2019. Mjøstårnet was entirely built using cross-laminated timber, from the large-scale interior trusses to its elevators.
The 18-story building is made of CLT and glulam, which are strong enough to support large loads. Floor slabs and prefabricated sections were jacked up by internal scaffolding and a large crane. The local suppliers were lucky enough to supply locally sourced materials that were used to construct the ascending structure.
Mjøstårnet stands as a contemporary tower offering a diverse range of amenities for its residents, as well as the local community and visitors. Each floor boasts an expansive area of approximately 640 square meters, contributing to a total program size of around 10,500 square meters. Additionally, the tower features a public bath spanning an additional 4,500 square meters.
4. Tall Wood Residence
The building reached an unprecedented height of 53 meters in the summer of 2017; thus, it is the 2nd tallest timber building in the world. Tall Wood Residence was designed by the Canadian practice Acton Ostry Architects Inc. To complete the project, leading companies and consulting firms such as Fast+ Epp, GHL Consultants Ltd, and Australia-based Architekten Herman Kaufmann collaborated.
The 18-story building houses 404 students as the Brock Common Student Residence at UBC (the University of British Columbia). Prefabricated steel elements and concrete core were utilized to assist the mass timber frame. According to John Metras, Managing Director of Infrastructure Development at UBC, working with wood reduced construction timelines.
An essential aspect of the prefabrication process was the utilization of a comprehensive 3D model. This model facilitated collaborative discussions and the implementation of ideas across different departments before the finalization of plans for actual fabrication or construction.
Thanks to meticulous planning and the seamless integration of design and construction processes, Brock Commons was successfully finished in a remarkable timeframe of only 70 days after the prefabricated components were prepared for assembly.
5. The Tree
Located on Dansgardsveien, 99, Asrtad, 5058 Bergen, Hordaland, Norway, The Tree or Treet stands 49 meters tall and is one of the tallest timber buildings in the world. The building was constructed in modules, the modules stacked together on site. Its load-bearing framework structure comprises glulam truss work, then a prefabricated module with a platform at the top made of a fortified concrete deck. The purpose of the concrete slabs was to give the structure the required weight.
The bb14-story building has a total of 62 apartments. After the building, the total project cost was €22M, including costs for buying the land, engineering costs, developing the concept, construction costs, and internal costs such as project management.
According to the project developers Bergen and Omegn Building Society, timber construction aided to avoid the excretion of more than 21000 metric driblets of carbon dioxide.
6. Dalston Lane
Standing at 33 meters high, Dalston Lane is one of the tallest timber buildings in the world. The 10-story building denoted the perspective of using timber to construct high-density buildings in the United Kingdom.
Dalston Lane is made of CLT from the first floor to the tenth floor, with core walls, through to the floors and stairs. The project was designed by a British architect, Waugh Thistleton, who indicated that timber was inexpensive and fantastic for the environment. The timber building is a short distance away from Cube, which is also 33 meters tall.
The 32-meter building, which rises over ten stories, was designed and constructed by developer Lend Lease. It is one of the tallest timber buildings in the world. The spurring structure was built within 11 months, unlocking a new era in the future for Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) constructions. In 2012, Forte was the first timber high-rise building in Australia built entirely from CLT to lower carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1400 tonnes. Forte is a residential building that comprises 759 CLT panels of European spruce, weighing a total of 485 tonnes.