Norway to build world's biggest wood apartment block

Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:49am EDT
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OSLO (Reuters) - Isn't it good Norwegian wood?

Yes it is, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were right, says a Norwegian housing cooperative.

So good in fact, that Bergen Region Housing (BOB) plans to build a 14-story wooden apartment block overlooking the Western coastal city's famous fjords, claiming it will be the world's biggest wooden apartment building.

The project seeks to promote sustainable materials while at the same time boosting Norway's vast forestry industry, the Agriculture Ministry said on Thursday.

"The biggest challenge in building a 14-story wooden building is preventing big swings amid strong wings," BOB said in an earlier statement.

The building, complete with a rooftop terrace, a Japanese garden, an indoor patio, a glass facade and views of the fjord, could be ready for sale by early 2014.

It would be constructed from prefabricated modules to cut down construction time, reinforced by diagonal timber structures for stability.

BOB said it hoped the pilot building would allow it to perfect the manufacturing process for further construction.

In 2011, Norway cut down 8.6 million cubic meters of industrial roundwood for 3.1 billion crowns ($518.33 million). Its entire forestry industry generated revenue of 44 billion crowns a year earlier, the latest period for which data was available.

($1 = 5.9808 Norwegian crowns)

(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi, editing by Paul Casciato)