“Greenhouse gas emissions and rising temperatures are serious. Each and every one of us needs to become aware of what we do, what we consume and how we live,” says builder Arthur Buchardt.

The question on everyone’s mind is why he decided to build the world’s tallest timber building - Mjøstårnet - in the small town of Brumunddal in Ringsaker municipality in south-east Norway? Why didn’t the investor choose a site in a major city on the continent where he could be paid three times as much for the finished building? 

“Building with timber is a key issue for me, and Ringsaker fits the bill well in this respect. Ringsaker is the municipality in the world that produces the most timber-based products for the building industry. The municipality is also the one in the world that has the greatest expertise in building large, complex timber buildings. I wanted to put Ringsaker and the small town of Brumunddal on the map. I also grew up in Ringsaker and have lived here for 28 years. I’m genuinely fond of the place,” Arthur Buchardt says. 

< See the first film of a total of six films about the world’s tallest timber building here >

Proximity is important

To him it is also important that the raw materials are local and that they come from the forests nearby. 

“The raw materials for Mjøstårnet are sourced close by. The timber logs is sawn locally and processed into wonderful timber building materials. And the expertise is here. In combination with less Co2 in the air, it makes up a whole. A nice and valuable story. It wouldn’t be the same story if we built the building in Malmö. Local is thus a key dimension. The pieces of the puzzle are coming together,” he says.

The Paris agreement is important

The Paris agreement – which includes provisions for reductions in Co2 emissions – and the call from domestic and international politicians and leading experts that we need to adapt to the green shift, has inspired builder Arthur Buchardt. 

“They are on to something. I have realized something, and I believe others should realize it too. Greenhouse gas emissions and rising temperatures are serious matters. Each and every one of us needs to become aware of what we do, what we consume and how we live. We each have to contribute in our own way. With this project I wanted to get across an important message. To prove what is possible. And building with wood will contribute to a better environment. It’s sustainable. Building with wood is contributing to a better world to breath in. A better climate for everyone,” Buchardt says. 

Hopes to inspire

Buchardt hopes that his ambition of building the world’s tallest timber building may have inspired others. 

“Mjøstårnet now proves that it is possible to build large, complex timber buildings. For example, the planned Norwegian government district in Oslo could be built from wood. It could be an international wooden landmark,” Buchardt says.

Loves wood

Arthur Buchardt genuinely loves wood. He has lived in timber houses his whole life, and owns one that was built in 1887. He breathes better in a timber house. The wood enthusiast naturally also believes that it’s better to live in a wooden house than in a house built from steel, concrete and plaster. And it doesn’t stop there for him. He believes that it will become mandatory internationally to build large buildings using climate-friendly materials. 

“We will see the same in the construction industry as in the automobile industry. In 15 years it will be illegal to drive cars that run on fossil fuels. That’s why it’s more important than previously that we have an ambitious and innovative wood industry that is at the forefront with thoughts, ideas and solutions,” Buchardt says.

Creativity is key

Buchardt believes the key to success with regard to building Mjøstårnet is creativity and a bit of “madness”! 

“And you have to dare. I’m both a bit stupid and a bit wise, and I don’t know TOO much. It’s a good mix. It helps get things done. Financial strength is also essential. If you have that, you also have the opportunity to lead the way. Any leader who wants to achieve something has to take the lead and prove that it’s possible. I need to be able to explain it and back it. I wish you a warm welcome to Mjøstårnet, whether you’re just having a coffee, a meal, staying at the Wood Hotel or visiting someone in the offices or flats here. It will be an experience you won’t forget,” Buchardt says.