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New timber test building to help the construction sector build in wood

A unique test and demonstration building for wood construction solutions is under construction in Denmark. 

A product of intense European collaboration and innovation, the ‘Build-in-Wood Demonstrator’ is now being constructed at the Danish Technological Institute near Copenhagen, Denmark. 

The two-storey, 340 m2 demonstration building is an outcome of Build-in-Wood – an EU-supported innovation project with 21 partners from across the wood construction value chain. Based on a construction of glulam columns and beams, CLT floor slabs, and lightweight wooden façade elements, the building showcases the Build-in-Wood building system developed in the project.  

A kit of parts 

The Build-in-Wood building system comprises a kit of parts which can be tailored to achieve the range of performance criteria typically required for residential or commercial multi-storey buildings across Europe.  

The system incorporates a structural post and beam frame and a non-structural facade, which have been designed to be used as a kit of parts or as well as independent elements to encourage reuse, retrofitting and extensions of existing building stock.  

- The Build in Wood system addresses the perceived challenges associated with building in timber and provides definitive answers to issues of fire, moisture and acoustics. Suitable for commercial, residential and retrofit applications the system is the blueprint for sustainable low carbon buildings, says associate director Kirsten Haggart, Waugh Thistleton Architects, one of the partners behind the project. 

Test of future building materials 

The prototype building will not only showcase and test the Build-in-Wood system, but also demonstrate the building’s capacity to be easily disassembled and reconfigured.  

The prototype building provides various industry stakeholders with a unique opportunity to test and document new innovative building materials, components, and systems on a full scale in real life conditions. Test data will be collated on acoustics, indoor climate, insulation performance and moisture.  

- Wood and bio-based materials will inevitably play a bigger role in future construction to drive down the carbon emissions from the manufacture and installation of building materials and reduce the climate impact of the construction sector. We are already seeing large scale mass-timber projects being built across Europe. However, issues such as moisture, acoustics and fire still do pose some challenges. The Build-in-Wood Demonstrator will provide unique opportunities to test new solutions and gain knowledge and experience on how these challenges can be solved in practice, says director Niels Morsing, Danish Technological Institute, who is coordinator of the Build-in-Wood project. 

A digital twin of the building collects live data from sensors placed in the building, e.g. data about the moisture content of the structures. The digital twin will also be used to predict maintenance needs and simulate how technical changes will affect the performance of the building. 

Niels Morsing points out that test buildings like the Demonstrator are rare and that several companies have already expressed their interest in using the building for demonstration and documentation of material and construction solutions. In addition, he expects the building to be used in future national and international research and innovation projects. 


About the Build-in-Wood Demonstrator 

The building is a two-storey wooden building with a total area of 340 m2. It is based on a construction of glued laminated timber columns and beams, floor slabs in CLT and lightweight wooden facade elements - a building system developed in the EU project Build-in-Wood, coordinated by the Danish Technological Institute and co-funded by the EU. The building is being constructed at the Danish Technological Institute in Taastrup, Denmark. 

Building owner: Danish Technological Institute (DK) 

Architect: Waugh Thistleton Architects (UK) 

Contractor: Adserballe & Knudsen (DK) Construction

Start: February 2024 

Estimated construction period: 6 months  


Project Coordinator and Director Niels Morsing, Danish Technological Institute, mobile +45 7220 2312, email:  




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