Scandinavian-based architecture firm C.F. Møller Architects has raised the bar for sustainable architecture with the recent completion of the Kajstaden Tower, Sweden’s tallest timber building. Located in Västerås, about an hour outside of Stockholm, the landmark building rises 8.5 stories in height and was built almost entirely from cross-laminated timber. The architects estimate that the use of solid timber instead of concrete for construction translates to 550 tons of carbon dioxide savings over the building’s lifetime.
Commissioned by Slättö Förvaltning, the Kajstaden Tower was constructed as part of a new central residential neighborhood near the waterfront of Öster Mälarstrand. Along with the record-breaking, solid-timber landmark, the new sustainably minded neighborhood includes an electric boat sharing system in the marina.
In addition to reducing the building’s carbon footprint, the use of CNC-milled solid timber and glulam for all parts of the building — including the walls, joists, balconies, lift and stairwell shafts — results in an airtight and energy-efficient building envelope without added insulation. The timber frame was also fast to raise; each floor, which contains four apartments, took four craftsmen an average of three days to put together. Mechanical joints and screws were used so that the building can be later taken apart, and the materials can be reused.
“The building in Kajstaden constitutes a new chapter in the history of construction, as it is currently Sweden’s tallest solid-timber building,” said Ola Jonsson, associate partner at C.F. Møller Architects, which is also part of the Nordic Network for Tall Wood Buildings. “Through research projects and our other timber projects, we have focused on innovation and contributed toward developing ways of realizing high-rise buildings made of timber. Industrial timber technology also provides architects with better tools for designing beautiful houses that boast a high degree of detail.”
Photography by Nikolaj Jakobsen via C.F. Møller Architects