Timber construction enabling adaptability at a new level

BRF iValla in Linköping is using timber to push the boundaries of flexibility in building design, generating big benefits over the building’s lifetime, with a local focus in its business model.

BRF iValla, Developed by: Omniplan & Urban Properties

Without a crystal ball, we don’t always know what we will need from the buildings of the future, even though we are building them today. As such, to create truly sustainable buildings for the long term, it’s clear that the ability to adapt and change buildings will be crucial to their longevity. This is where Omniplan, developers of BRF iValla, saw the benefits of building in wood. The four-storey, 20 apartment building in Linköping has exceptional levels of flexibility thanks to a gulam beam structure with suspended floor panels, eliminating the need for internal loadbearing walls. The project was made possible thanks to a highly ambitious local municipality acting as a driving force for change.

BRF iValla’s timber structure allows for each floor to be configured independently, and with maximum flexibility, with the stairs and elevators external to the timber frame. Plumbing, cables and the like are all housed in accessible units in the flooring, which are easily changed and extended to allow new systems to be added over time, meaning that modular kitchens and bathrooms can be shifted around with speed and ease. Even the external walls can be adapted, allowing for balconies, doors and windows to be adjusted to the needs of the building’s users. The project has developed the idea of ‘byggherregemenskaper’, with a focus on distributed, local equity.


  • innovation benifits icon: innovation benifits icon
  • innovation benifits title: INNOVATION
  • innovation benifits text: The building’s flexibility allows the users to think in new and creative ways of how to use the empty timber shell and adapt it best to their needs, which can change over time.
  • partnership benifits icon: partnership benifits icon
  • partnership benifits title: ENVIRONMENT
  • partnership benifits text: By using timber for so much of the construction, including wood-fibre insulation and the casing for the roof’s PV panels, BRF iValla has eliminated the need for any plastics to be using the building’s construction.
  • economic benifits Icon: economic benifits Icon
  • economic benifits title: SOCIAL & LOCAL
  • economic benifits text: By harnessing the concept of ‘byggherregemenskaper’, small-scale local private capital is leveraged to construct and own the building, creating positive outcomes for well distributed, local equity.

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

The project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.