HU-Systemhouse - Apartment buildings made of wood

Wood grows upwards

High-rise timber buildings are spectacular examples of the new possibilities in structural timber construction. The HoHo in Vienna with 84 meters and 24 floors is a good example of this and the 18-story Roots is currently being built in Hamburg’s Hafencity in the north.

Aside from the high-rise buildings, a trend is accelerating that we at Cordes Holzbau are noticing with increasing intensity: Apartment buildings with three or four floors are increasingly being built using timber frame construction to create space for a number of apartments. Municipal developers, building cooperatives and investors have discovered the economic viability of sustainable construction.

Need for additional living space

There is a great need for additional living space – especially in metropolitan areas. This doesn’t just apply in the large metropolises. At the same time, new buildings must be constructed in such a way that less CO2 is released. The traditional construction and building sector is currently one of the biggest CO2 emitters: it alone is responsible for 30 percent of German CO2 emissions. This is why more and more local authorities and planning offices are now turning to wood as a building material for larger projects, a material from which most of the world’s cities used to be built. In combination with the expanded possibilities in timber construction, this also results in additional promising approaches in commercial and industrial construction.

A look at the 2030 climate targets

With a view to the 2030 climate targets, builders of a multi-story timber building benefit from the sustainability of the building material. Wood is not only at the forefront in terms of energy efficiency and thermal insulation, it also performs excellently when it comes to the overall CO2 balance. If you consider the production, recycling and disposal of raw materials, the advantages of wood are obvious: trees grow in our forests through sun and rain, they bind CO2, and if a house is demolished, the beams can be reused.


Wood adapts – even in large projects

If several residential units are created in a multi-story project or a combined residential and commercial use is realized, wood scores points with its flexibility in room layout. For example, if the original floor plan needs to be changed, it helps and saves costs if the statics are supported by just a few walls.

Thanks to the prefabrication of our elements, even multi-story buildings or extensions in narrow building gaps can be completed quickly. Noise and dirt or disruptions caused by road closures all quickly disappear for residents.


The issue of regionality is also becoming more important for public developers. As craftsmen from the region, we ensure that value creation takes place locally and that local economic strength is strengthened. Even for large projects, we deliver high quality and high speed using timber construction. Not industrially, but through our prefabrication in handcrafted structures, which makes individual construction easier.


Together with Holzunion, we have built, among other things, a 5-story building in Offenbach and several 5- and 7-story buildings in Erlangen. In Berlin, an impressive 6-story building was built entirely in wood on Lynarstrasse, which won the Berlin Wood Construction Prize for the best residential building made of wood in 2019.