City of Wood? - Modern Multi-Storey Housing in Timber

Although wood as a material for the sustainable family home is now seen almost as a must, it has played a marginal roll in apartment buildings. But this could change in the near future: in order to realise ambitious environmental goals, most countries have eased the restrictive height regulations and the fire protection laws. At the same time, current pilot projects with partly innovative and partly traditional construction methods and derived timber products, are showing that apartment buildings made out of wood are not only competitive because of their healthy atmosphere and their positive CO2 balance, but are also interesting from a economic point of view. After a short overview of solutions of static and structural problems in apartment buildings made from wood, a direct comparison of six current examples from different countries shows which wall and ceiling builders agree and how large the variation in blueprint concepts and constructions can be. While wooden apartment buildings of up to nine stories are creating quite a sensation, and project studies even discuss the possibilities of going up to 25 stories, with wood constructions the goal is not to break records like this, rather to use the material in as sensible and comprehensive a way as possible. This could mean a high-rise made entirely of wood in one instance, or simply the renovation of a solid structure with a wooden insulated building shell in another.
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