Timber Tower Rotterdam

Client: Havensteder Foundation
Project: Wooden tower with 29 apartments and 7 single-family houses
Location: Zwaanshalskade Hartenruststraat Rotterdam
Planning: Feasibility study 2020
Construction: Pieters Bouwtechniek
Building physics: ZRI
Contractor: BAM wonen

Timber tower Rotterdam is a building with social rental apartments and family houses on the river Rotte in Rotterdam. In order to realize the circular ambitions of the housing corporation, a biobased design has been made of which the main supporting structure, facades and frames consist entirely of wood. The Timber Tower is climate neutral, prevents urban heat stress, creates a healthy indoor climate for its residents and forms a nature-inclusive focal point on the renewed green banks of the Rotte.

According to the National Climate Goals, the construction sector must be climate neutral by 2050 and reduce its CO2 emissions to zero. This objective can be achieved by using wood as a building material on a large scale. The Timber Tower has a main supporting construction of cross-glued wood (CLT), wooden facades and wooden frames with which a total of 1500 m3 of wood is used. With the Dutch wood production of one million m3 per year, this building will have grown again within 15 hours, for which 150 ha of forest area will be sustainably replanted.

Building in wood offers new opportunities for the architecture of the building. The Timber Tower's design makes use of the Dutch timber-building tradition by building on the fly. Overhangs in the mass structure and fa?ade detailing are created to protect the wood from weather influences and to prevent water ingress. The thermal impregnation techniques make wood more sustainable into a maintenance-free facade with an even and natural appearance. The scaled facade gives an elegant articulation and a striking and robust appearance, fitting into the urban context on the waterfront of the Rotte.

Building in wood also offers new opportunities for a healthy and comfortable indoor climate for residents. The open structure of wood provides a pleasant, subdued indoor acoustics and a peaceful living environment. The moisture-regulating effect of wood ensures a stable humidity. The heat insulating effect ensures stable heating in the winter and a delayed heating in the summer.

Finally, the natural look of wood gives a warm and pleasant space experience. In the Timber Tower's design, the wooden ceilings have been left in sight. The necessary fire resistance is achieved without ceilings by slightly oversizing the wooden construction floor. Noise requirements in stacked construction are realized with a circular recycled concrete granulate top layer.

To stimulate the opportunities for building in wood, Van Bergen Kolpa Architecten is actively involved and has signed the Manifesto: "Towards a fair playing field for a more sustainable Netherlands" at the initiative of VORM bouw and together with other prominent representatives from the construction sector. The Manifesto, addressed to Minister Ollongren of the Interior, argues for an evaluation of the CO2 storage of wood in the Environmental Performance Buildings (MPG) in relation to the CO2 emissions of, among others, concrete and brick.