Tall Timber Facades

Identification of Cost-effective and Resilient Envelopes for Wood Constructions

The variety of configurations of the building envelope and the diversity of the effects of the external and internal climate require support in the selection of material and design options. Based on methods of risk analysis, an assessment and process of moisture safety documented evidence of conformity is developed.

Moisture safe multi-story wooden buildings

The interest for the use of wood in urban buildings is growing. In order to preserve and develop the chances on the market, wood construction must be reliable, durable, flexible and strong in off-site production/prefabrication. To fulfil most of these requirements a prolonged moisture-safety is necessary, which is in the focus of this project. Together with research and industry partners from four European countries the Chair of Timber Structures and Building Construction is working on solutions.

With an increasing height of timber buildings, the challenge is increasing to provide dry conditions for the expected lifetime of the building. Tall buildings are particularly exposed to high wind pressures combined with driving rain.  Additionally, large buildings require longer times of construction in which the structural elements are especially exposed to moisture. Finally yet importantly inspection, maintenance and repair possibilities are limited in high rise structures.

Urban facade typology as a challenge

Compared to fire safety and static questions, the risk of moisture damages is today dramatically underestimated in planning and building processes and in quality management. This may lead to an image risk for timber buildings, if damages will increase in future. Therefore ‘safety concepts’, similar to those in static calculations, are necessary to improve construction and prevent damage by moisture.

Construction variety and climate impact

The variety of configurations of the building envelope and the diversity of the effects of external and internal climate need assistance in selection of material and design options. Based on risk analysis methods, moisture protection verification will be developed. That will enable planners and producers to make substantiated decisions for specific constructions. In addition, the tool is used to create a guideline for Tall Timber Facades - envelope constructions.

sed design-tool

The main objective of the project is to facilitate the confident design of durable and therefore cost-effective design solutions for tall timber facades. Design will be enabled by a risk based design tool taking into account exposure and vulnerability of façade components and systems consistently.

Read more at: http://fungi.tallfacades.eu

Project team
Dipl.-Ing. Stephan Ott (coordinator), Andrea Tietze M.Sc. (research)


1.09.2014 – 28.02.2017 (30 months)


ERA-Net Woodwisdom-Net in 7th Framework Program of EU
and the German Federal Ministry for Nutrition and Agriculture