The 84-metre HoHo project is being built in the Seestadt Aspern area and will have 24 floors. It’s not designed for residential apartments but will house a hotel, a restaurant, a wellness centre and offices. It’s expected to cost about €65 million.
The firm Kerbler is behind the building and said wood was chosen as the building material because of its environmental benefits. It will be more expensive than a conventional skyscraper, and fire precautions will be a major factor.
With 76 percent of the building expected to be made from spruce wood, architects say it will save 2,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions when compared with a similar concrete structure, the equivalent of driving a car 40km every day for 1,300 years.
The core of the building will be made of concrete, to ensure it is stable enough. Features such as lifts will not be made of wood.
The Vienna fire service did have concerns about the wooden structure, and has been working with the architects to test their plans and develop a fail-safe sprinkler system.
The skyscraper should be ready by autumn 2018. It won’t be the tallest of its kind for long, with other cities working on similar projects, including a 300-metre-high wooden skyscraper planned for an area of London.