Estonian timber house factories export more complex construction solutions
16. December 2019

A new office building, Skøyen Atrium III, opened in Oslo, Norway, at the end of November. The eye-catching facade and atrium were created by Estonian produced timber frame elements (EstNor OÜ).

The 12-storey office building has 25 000 m2 of office space and construction works took more than two years. The Estonian factory however finished their works considerably faster – EstNor engineered, produced and erected all wall and atrium elements within 7 months' time. In addition to timber elements, EstNor also delivered more than 700 windows, which were installed into elements at EstNor factory in Kiili. 7000 m2 of façade elements rolled out of the factory, which in simple words means approximately 40 full trucks. The building’s load-bearing construction has been built using steel poles and reinforced concrete slabs, facades with timber frame elements. On the outer façade, a special aluminum façade cover has been used, which was installed by a Norwegian company.

A new office building, Skøyen Atrium III in Oslo. Photo: EstNor

Functions of 12 stories of the new building are different. There is a café-restaurant on the ground floor, a spacious atrium and a conference room fitting 200 people. On the upper floors, there are different sized offices and gathering spaces. There is space for total of 1500 workplaces. Working in such a modern building has been made very convenient via an underground car and bicycle parking lot, sports facilities, new generation meeting rooms, etc.  

Curved timber-frame elements

EstNor, whose façade elements turned the building into a whole, also brings out an important aspect, that the building qualified to a “BREEAM Excellent” quality label and energy label A. EstNor`s managing director Renee Mikomägi describes that the building was complex due to curved façade elements in corners and curved windows. “We worked out a separate solution at the factory in order to produce curved timber-frame elements.” As EstNor’s contractual duty was also to pass a pressure test, it was also their duty to build a thick construction, adds Mikomägi. „Pressure test’s result was superb, considerably better than required by strict Norwegian regulations. Of course, the amount of vapor and wind barriers and tapes used was impressive. Only the amount of different tapes used was 1200 rolls.” A challenge on its own was the transportation of elements because all produced elements were 3,3m high, which is exactly the last possible height to fit to drive under bridges. Elements had to be packed into thermal plastic and transported on open trailers. Mikomägi believes that such complex projects are those that help us prove the quality and competence of Estonian house factories. “We are able to produce challenging and complex engineering-technical solutions.”

Scandinavian countries – Norway, Sweden, Finland – have long ago put their foot down at their home markets, yet Estonians still have a lot of room for development in this aspect. “We would love to take on such impressive projects in Estonia, if only we had more competent customers and partners who would appreciate timber construction,” concluded Mikomägi.

More information about the building: