25.03.2019

Modular timber apartment complex inspired by nature

In 2013 Strandparken became a flagship for wooden construction, using prefabricated timber modules cladded in a cedar shingle facade to start a wave of sustainable wooden apartment buildings now appearing all over Sweden.

Strandparken, Developed by: Windgårdhs & Folkhem

Located on the shore of the Bällstaviken inlet in Sundbyberg near Stockholm, the two 8-storey apartment buildings became Sweden’s tallest timber buildings and one of the world’s largest residential wooden developments on completion in 2013. The 25m tall timber structure is rooted on a concrete ground floor, and so lightweight that it needed to be anchored from the very top with steel rods. Despite this, wood dominates in Strandparken with prefabricated wooden modules giving a natural feel with softer internal acoustics. Keeping the facade visually appealing as the wood ages presented a new challenge, which was overcome through the use of cedar shingles whose natural variation offsets variation in any discolouration over time.

At the core of Folkhem’s strategy is a long-term view that sees wooden construction as key to reducing risk and delivering long-term benefits. Strandparken was their first major wood project, comprising 28,000m2 of CLT, 180m3 of glulam and 14,000m2 of cedar shingles, with each wood type providing a distinct and vibrant identity for the building. Materials are designed for minimal maintenance, and interior walls are covered in thin gypsum board to comply with fire regulations.

 

With the elements prefabricated off-site, it took just seven months to complete one block – about half the time it takes to build with concrete. The construction site was innovative too, with the roof rising above each floor as the building grew to keep elements protected from the weather.

 

Media

Benefits

  • innovation benifits icon: innovation benifits icon
  • innovation benifits title: ENVIRONMENT
  • innovation benifits text: Analysis by the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology and Swedish Environmental Institute concluded that compared to conventional steel and concrete, Strandparken generates around half the emissions in the construction phase.
  • partnership benifits icon: partnership benifits icon
  • partnership benifits title: SOCIAL & LOCAL
  • partnership benifits text: Whilst Strandparken became Sweden’s tallest timber building, the bigger priority for the developers was to push to new heights of comfort, attractiveness, and sustainability, creating affordable homes for local residents.
  • economic benifits Icon: economic benifits Icon
  • economic benifits title: ECONOMIC
  • economic benifits text: Strandparken was a pilot project costing 12% more than using conventional techniques and materials, but as Folkhem scales up and improves knowledge and experience with newer and larger projects, costs are coming down.

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

The project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.