Multi-storey construction in timber dispels many taboos on how timber is supposedly unsuitable for multi-storey and complex buildings.
- cross-laminated timber components - KLH
- fire-resistant timber
- approximately 30 meters high
- faster, cleaner and less expensive construction
- longevity of construction
Over the past decade, the innovative timber construction systems have caused a renaissance in terms of ecology, civil engineering, architecture as well as economy. Due to exhibiting excellent environmentally friendly properties, enabling fast and simple construction as well as providing a people-friendly living environment, multi-storey buildings made of solid KLH panels are becoming an increasingly stronger and economically viable alternative to concrete or masonry structures.
Cross-laminated timber components
This is a contemporary composite material with better and more levelled mechanical properties than timber on its own. They consist of cross-stacked timber lamellas laminated along the entire surface. Cross-lamination increases the load-bearing capacity and ensures the panels' dimensional stability; the cross-orientation of lamellas enables components to withstand loads in two directions perpendicular to one another, with the primary load transfer direction corresponding to the orientation of fibres in the outer layer of the boards. By properly joining KLH components together to form a complete structure, the panels used as wall components can take on a large horizontal load both in the wall's plane as well as in the direction perpendicular to it. Suitable architectural and structural design of a building along with an adequate load-bearing capacity of the KLH panels and suitably executed jointing thereof can provide great seismic resistance of such buildings.
Cross-laminated solid panels are resistant to pests as well as fire. Since timber conducts heat 300 to 400 times more slowly than steel, the panels exceed the fire resistance of both steel and reinforced concrete. The components char slowly from the surface towards the inside, preventing the oxygen from accessing the timber. In the uncharred section, the components retain full load-bearing capacity and do not change shape during burning, which is why they don't put pressure or transfer the load to other structural components, which usually causes the structure to collapse.
Nearly 30 metres high
KLH structures are becoming increasingly frequent among residential buildings, including the multi-storey versions. One such example is an eight-storey Stadthaus Murray Grove building in London, currently the world's tallest residential house made of timber. The architectural design planning was conducted by Waugh Thistleton Architects from London, while the structure project design was carried out by Techniker Ltd. from London in cooperation with CBD d.o.o. and KLH Massivholz GmbH. The timber building measuring nearly 30 metres in height and consisting of 29 residential units was awarded an eco-label of excellence and received numerous awards for its architecture, structure and eco-friendliness.
Faster, cleaner, less expensive construction
The assembly of the structure with the floor plan surface of 289m2 and a total surface area of 2312m2 began in early April 2008. It took 20 days for four workers to assemble the complete building, which means that the construction time was shortened by app. 20 weeks. During the work, the construction site and its surrounding area remained clean, while the assembly progressed quickly and without noise, which was very positive for the entire residential neighbourhood. The final price analysis showed that executing the residential facility by means of KLH construction was less expensive for the investor in comparison with the traditionally built RC skeleton structure with infills. Although the initial analysis indicated a higher price, a detailed final analysis, which included all peripheral conditions of construction and financial indicators, produced quite the opposite results due to the speed of execution.
Longevity of construction
The entire structure required 905m3 of spruce timber, while the surface of the KLH panels amounted to around 7,000m2. By assembling the entire structure in solid timber, around 760 tons of carbon dioxide were stored in the structure for the duration of the building's life span which, with proper maintenance, can extend the warranty period of 60 years by several times. A well thought-out fire safety design proved that the building does not require a sprinkler system to meet the fire safety regulations in building construction.