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A SWISS KRONO Timber Construction Event at the Zentrum HOLZ in Olsberg, Germany

Новости | SWISS KRONO Germany

Around 50 architects and planners with a keen interest in building with wood accepted our invitation to an event that we held on this topic in the town of Olsberg in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia in June 2023. The venue was the “Zentrum HOLZ” (WOOD Centre), which is idyllically situated in the “land of a thousand mountains”, as it’s popularly called, nestled in a forested landscape in the Hochsauerland district on the upper course of the river Ruhr. It was the epitome of being connected with nature. Which of course made it an ideal place to talk about timber construction and a valuable renewable resource like wood.

The Zentrum HOLZ is devoted to supporting firms that work with wood. Relevant networks, institutions, interest groups and public administrations collaborate to generate synergies for using wood. The focus is on disseminating knowledge and information on creating value with wood, sustainable development and climate protection. SWISS KRONO recently began partnering with the Zentrum HOLZ and is now portrayed in its timber construction pavilion. The seminar rooms and pavilion are ideal spaces for holding intensive events on timber construction in an authentic setting.

After our own timber construction event, we had the impression that the participants had not only thoroughly enjoyed the location but also returned to their everyday jobs with fresh ideas. Which was gratifying, as precisely that had been our goal and we prepared inspiring talks and product presentations to achieve it.

 

Overview of speakers and their topics

 

Martin Schwarz of the Centre for Forests and the Timber Industry (Zentrum für Wald und Holzwirtschaft) kicked off the event. He talked about sustainable use of wood in construction, presenting facts and figures on forest use in Germany and the associated value chain and illustrating them with examples from the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. “The forest data in the ‘2017 Carbon Inventory’ prepared by the Institute of Forest Ecosystems in Braunschweig clearly presents the success story of multifunctional forest management and efficient use of the natural resource of wood. It has been possible to significantly expand the role of forests as carbon sinks and the ways in which wood products help protect the climate,” he explained. Schwarz also presented various climate protection initiatives by the EU and the German federal government and talked about modern timber construction as an innovation driver.

Our application technician Harald Sauter then followed up by presenting the SWISS KRONO MAGNUMBOARD ® OSB solid timber construction system, which is ideal for creating large-format, jointless wall, ceiling and roof modules for annexes, vertical extensions or entire new buildings.

Ahmed Al Samarraie, an expert on building ecology who sits on the board of DHV, the German Prefabricated Construction Association,  explained the current indoor air quality requirements and research findings in connection with the topic of “VOCs from wood and engineered wood materials”. He said that many physical, chemical, biological and psychological factors influence indoor air quality. It has consistently been observed that VOCs from wood and engineered wood decline significantly over time, albeit at different rates depending on the substances involved. Despite this, the responsible authorities have continued to insist on outmoded approaches. The parameter of “total volatile organic compounds” (TVOCs) in particular has been shown to be unsuitable as a target value in construction contracts. Al Samarraie stressed that it is urgently necessary to correct both the guidelines and the details of the German Model Administrative Regulation on Technical Construction Requirements (MVv TB).

Then Annette Clauss of the “Building with Wood” technical advisory of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia addressed an especially critical topic: planning mistakes in timber construction and the damage they cause to buildings. She provided examples of what can go wrong and gave the audience an idea of the potential of timber construction when projects are properly planned and executed, explaining the technical issues in detail.

Later, Clauss returned to the podium to address the topic of fire protection in timber construction. She sketched the requirements of the construction ordinance of North Rhine-Westphalia, including the usability certifications that must be obtained for class 4 and 5 buildings (taller and subterranean buildings containing large units) and the underlying principles involved in making connections and joints, while specifically referring to the current 2023 timber construction guideline of the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

Philipp Park, CEO of the firm of ig-bauphysik gmbH & Co. KG based in Hohenbrunn, then held a presentation in which he explained the possibilities for obtaining government funding for timber construction projects. As a consequence of the European Green Deal, now all buildings are judged on the basis of whether they are ”ESG-ready”, with ESG standing for “environmental, social and governance” – in other words, whether they meet all relevant sustainability criteria. A building or investment is evaluated on this basis. Depending on the findings, it may be necessary for owners to invest more of their own capital and pay higher interest rates, thus worsening the building’s or investment’s value retention. Park also illuminated the KfW’s “Climate-Friendly New Construction” programme, which was launched in March 2023, and the German federal government’s “Sustainable Building” (QNG) quality seal. He stressed that modern timber construction systems and life cycle assessments (LCAs) are especially well-suited for meeting the prerequisites for obtaining subsidies.

The series of presentations was wrapped up by application technician Stefan Gottfried. Having played a key role in developing the SWISS KRONO PLANNING tool, he presented it and provided some examples of how it works. A wide variety of assemblies can be flexibly configured by specifying the type and class of building, the desired acoustic and fire protection values and other parameters.

During the breaks, the participants could either inspect the Swiss Krono Show Module with its fascinating product displays or visit the exhibition hall of the Zentrum HOLZ, where one can learn all about timber constructions, insulation, engineered wood materials, building exteriors, floors and clay bricks.

Big thanks go to everyone who helped make this day such a resounding success – and especially the Zentrum HOLZ for providing the facilities and equipment!