Click here to sign up
for DBI's newsletter


The project BioFacades:UpHigh aims to push the boundaries of how high we can construct facades in Denmark using wood and other bio-based materials that are neither fire protected (e.g., with fire retardants, fire paint, clay) or equipped with sprinklers. Based on 10 full-scale facade fire tests and drawing on three specific example buildings, the project partners will demonstrate that structural design solutions in the facade can prevent the spread of fire and provide a safe alternative to existing pre-accepted solutions.

BioFacades:UpHigh has a total budget of 6.6 million DKK and is supported by Realdania and the Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science (Uddannelses- og Forskningsstyrelsen) through DBI's performance contract.

The project runs from November 2022 to Q1 2025.

Project in detail

In Denmark, facades can be constructed up to a height of 22 meters using materials that meet a B-s2,d0 fire requirement within the pre-accepted solutions. Fire-impregnated wood can meet the requirement, but within the last 2 years, uncertainty about the outdoor fire durability of fire-retardant wood has practically decimated the market for timber facades in Denmark. Manufacturers cannot provide guarantees, and builders are unwilling to take the risk. As a result, the choice often falls on conventional, and carbon-intensive materials, pushing the goal of reducing 3/4 of the building industry's emissions further into the future.

The vision of BioFacades:UpHigh is to provide documentation that untreated bio-based facades can be used as ventilated facades in multi-story buildings without sprinkler systems. Through structural designs (e.g., steel overhangs), we aim to create buildings with more combustible facade materials. The height depends on the project's results, but the goal is for the solutions to be applicable up to 22 meters in height.

The objectives of BioFacades:UpHigh are:

(1) To analyze and document solutions through 10 full-scale facade fire tests that can prevent the spread of fire to upper floors.

(2) To realize untreated bio-based facades in three specific example buildings.

(3) To formulate general guidelines based on the results, which can become pre-accepted solutions in the future and be used in fire class 2 buildings. Additionally, to develop design guidelines that will shape the future of facade architecture in Denmark.

(4) To make the examples publicly accessible and free through the online portal, being developed in the project's sister project, "Wood:UpHigh."

The project runs from November 2022 to Q1 2025.

Project Lead
Asmus Haastrup
Research Consultant