Timber towers promoting sustainable development

Trondheim’s Moholt 50 | 50 project has challenged its stakeholders to contribute to sustainable development and innovation, resulting in an affordable, healthy and environmentally friendly timber student village.

Moholt 50 | 50, Developed by: MDH Arkitekter & Veidekke

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of a student village in Trondheim, Moholt 50 | 50 is a new timber hub of student life with housing units, a kindergarten, grocery store and sports facilities. The project has transformed a former parking lot, to put the emphasis on sustainable urban development for the next 50 years, hence the name Moholt 50 | 50. At the outset, conventional construction methods using concrete and steel were envisaged. However due to the project’s ambitious energy and climate goals, the project team took the decision to use cross-laminated timber (CLT) to build the 643 new student apartments.

The five timber towers are 9-storeys and 28 meters high, using 6,500m3 of wood, making Moholt 50 | 50 the largest CLT project in Europe and one of the largest in the world at the time of completion. From the first to the ninth floor, the entire structure consists of prefabricated CLT elements, with even the elevator shafts and stairwells constructed from CLT. As a result, the carbon emissions associated with the building materials are 57% lower than if concrete and steel had been used. The project has been pioneering in several areas, but the project was still completed on schedule and on budget. Massive wood proved competitive on price, since construction time was significantly reduced.


  • innovation benifits icon: innovation benifits icon
  • innovation benifits title: ENVIRONMENT
  • innovation benifits text: The use of CLT has reduced the carbon footprint of the the building materials by 57% in comparison to traditional construction methods. The structures are also heated and cooled with renewable geothermal energy.
  • partnership benifits icon: partnership benifits icon
  • partnership benifits title: INNOVATION
  • partnership benifits text: A full scale fire test was conducted to establish a better information basis for fire sizing, burn rate and sprinkler capacity. Some of the structural walls are painted with a transparent fire protecting wood stain that enables the exposure of the wooden surface.
  • economic benifits Icon: economic benifits Icon
  • economic benifits title: PARTNERSHIPS
  • economic benifits text: Moholt 50 | 50 was a wild card in the competition, where experienced architects were invited to form teams with younger offices. Four contractors were trained in building in solid wood to be able to offer a competitive price quote for construction in this material.

The Nordic Wood in Construction Secretariat is hosted by EIT Climate-KIC

The project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.