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Germany’s Tallest Wooden Structure

Plans have been announced for the construction of the tallest wooden building in Germany.

The building, according to a recent article in the online magazine Arch Daily, will be located in HafenCity Hamburg and will rise 18 floors above the ground. The development, named “Wildspitze,” is being designed by Störmer Murphy and Partners. When completed, the tower will house 189 residential units and the structure will be among the tallest residential buildings in Europe.

The project developer, Garbe Immobilien-Projekte GmbH, are developing the residential hi-rise using wooden structural components and prefabrication in order to complete the project faster. Currently Wildspatze is scheduled for completion in 2021 and will include exhibit space and a cinema.

As engineers begin to look at sustainability and to test the limits of materials like wood and composite structures, we are beginning to see a number of, mostly residential buildings being designed and built around the world.

My colleague Scott Braddock recently wrote about a large wooden hi rise going up in Minnesota. He included references to some of the research and engineering that is being used to design and build these structures.

The current tallest wooden structure in the world was just completed in record time in Vancover. That project, known as Brent Commons, is a residential project that, like Wildspitze in Germany, is 18 floors tall. We find it interesting that several of them are being built to the 18-floor level in the same time frame. That causes us to wonder whether the maximum height that the safety experts and the codes will allow is about 64 meters or is it just a “platform” that will be tested before taller wooden buildings are engineered somewhere in the Middle East or in China.

Interesting also to see the paradigm that while the structural teams are finding new and better systems to build taller and taller, other teams are taking a closer look at renewable structures using wood and other sustainable materials.

Waiting now for the first interviews in a few years with residents who live in those wooden buildings who have endured snow the seasons and perhaps an earthquake or two to see how the new hi-rise wooden structures stand up to the elements.