40 506 An daptable urban timber building


Completed basic education / admitted to master level

Course content

New timber technology and solutions for fire protection opens for a broader application of wood-based solutions in urban areas. Stronger focus on the environmental properties and the carbon-sequestrating potential of building materials places wood at the centre of attention. Sustainable buildings must be designed for long lifecycles. They must have a high and durable architectural and technical quality and they must be adaptable to varied use over time. They must combine generality in room forms with possibilities for flexible partitioning and furnishing. This requires tight coordination of constructions, building envelopes and the systems for water supply, sewage, heating and ventilation.

The main aim of the course is to develop strategies for adaptable urban timber buildings. The design task is a medium-sized office building containing workplaces, conference rooms, exhibition/information areas, cafeteria and restrooms / wardrobes. Adaptability to alternate future work patterns, user groups or functions shall be documented.
The formability of timber components shall be utilized in studies of how contrasting geometries may interact in architectural design.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge of development patterns and building typologies that are suited for urbanizing areas. Overview of climatic factors that influence site plans and building design. Updated information about wooden materials and structural systems that are applicable in urban settings. Knowledge of possibilities and challenges related to the use of wood in urban building envelopes. Knowledge of relevant systems for natural and mechanical ventilation, utilization of solar energy and water handling on household and urban levels.

Ability to develop architectural strategies related to program, site and technology. To develop design aimed at rational production, climate adaption, energy efficiency and sustainability. Ability to communicate architectural strategies, systems solutions and building design through drawings and texts.

General competence
Ability to independently develop detailed architectural design of a medium-sized urban building.

Working and learning activities

Moodle will be used by the teachers and the students. The students are expected to have access to and skills in the use of digital tools suited for development of detailed presentation drawings.
The course is linked to the research project “Increased use of wood in urban areas - WOOD/BE/BETTER.” An interdiciplinary team of architects, engineers and wood technologists will contribute to the course in the form of lectures and individual tutoring.
The course will be organized as an ordinary studio course focusing on architectural projects that will be developed individually or by groups of students.
Initial lectures will cover urban development, building typologies and the detailed program of the design task. A special series of lectures will give insight in wooden materials and wood technology. The team of teachers also give lectures about energy and environmental themes related to urban buildings.
Miniseminars on selected themes will be arranged on demand.
At least three intermediate deliveries and plenary reviews and critiques leading up to final delivery commented by the team of teachers and external evaluator.
Clearly defined guidelines will be given for the content of the deliveries aiming at publication as a part of the research project. The course will organise an exhibition of the projects.
The course will be evaluated as passed / not passed according to the rules of the Master studies at AHO, paragraph 6-14. Exchange stuents will be evaluated according to international agreements and standards.
Lectures and student projects from relevant earlier studio courses will be made available.
A list of litterature is under development.

Professor in charge

Professor Marius Nygaard

Mandatory work requirements

Work requirements Number Number of approved Mandatory presence Comment
Project 1 1

Development, presentation and plenary critique of project task is obligatory for passing of course


Assessment Date Duration Grade scale Oral examination
Prosjektoppgave 2014-12-05 00:00 week(s) Pass / Fail 80

The project task will be evaluated as passed / not passed.
Exchange students will be evaluated according to international standards

Credit reduction

Course name Credits