24 March 2021

Timber on top – Tyréns’ contribution to sustainable tall buildings

The aim of the “Timber on top” project is to improve knowledge about sustainable outwards and upwards extensions to buildings. Players all along the value chain are contributing to the dissemination of knowledge at the various stages of the construction process. Tyréns is contributing know-how and expertise to the focus areas of “digital twin” and “building systems”.

The initial phase of the “Timber on top” project involved a feasibility study to assess opportunities for upwards and outwards extensions to buildings based on the social, economic and technical sustainability aspects. In the second phase, the findings of the study have identified a number of focus areas that will promote new technical solutions, business models and knowledge with a focus on sustainable timber construction.

Viktor Rönnblom is a building engineer at Tyréns and has been involved in the “Timber on top” project from the start. He is looking forward to starting the concept design for the first extension case within the “Building systems" focus area. This encompasses construction of new student housing in the town of Borlänge.

“It is rather unusual in that it involves building six new storeys on top of a single-storey building with a basement. We will be applying our knowledge and expertise in extension design and evaluating different types of timber construction systems,” says Viktor Rönnblom.

Design proposals for the extension will be presented by several teams. It is essential not to overload the weight-bearing posts and piles of the existing building.

As each team’s proposal evolves, it will be documented to produce a guide to the process of choosing and designing the structural frame. The guide will contain amassed knowledge about sustainable upwards extension planning and smart and effective solutions for structural frames and designs.

Tyréns is providing its knowledge of architecture and measurement techniques to the “Digital twin” focus area. A property in the town of Sundsvall is serving as a case study for the focus area. The property is being evaluated for extension to create housing. Students from Luleå University of Technology are assisting Tyréns and have developed a densification proposal for the property with the help of generative design and visualisation in real time.

“This development project blends architecture with new technology and we are contributing with our expertise in measurement and generative design in practice. The generative design process allows us to generate random solutions that are outside the bounds of our normal intuition,” explains Daniel Runebjörk, architect at Tyréns.

In the next phase, all the material that has been produced will be imported into Tyréns’ visualisation platform, TyrEngine, which uses state-of-the-art graphics technologies from the gaming world to visualise sustainable construction. In the final stage, the solutions will be summarised in a report that presents feasible, innovative solutions. 

Timber on top was launched at the end of 2018 and is due to run until the end of 2021. The project is funded by Vinnova and has received financing from the Sven Tyréns Foundation. The Swedish Wood Building Council and WoodCity Sweden Association have the main responsibility for project management and dissemination of knowledge about the project. The research for the project is being conducted by Linköping University, Luleå University of Technology and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.

Read here to find out more about Timber on Top