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Timber construction, back to basics?

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Although wood was one of the very first materials used in the construction of houses since the beginning of civilization, it was largely relegated to the background with the advent of cement concrete during the industrial revolution. Today, it is making a strong comeback in major projects that are part of sustainable development.

More and more timber construction sites in the future.

The Association pour le Développement des Immeubles à Vivre en bois (ADIVbois) has announced that 24 structures have been selected as part of a project that aims to revitalize the wood industry in France. In the list, there are 18 apartment buildings, but also 4 buildings that will house offices, as well as a school and a hotel, all designed exclusively in wood.

These large apartment buildings will be more than 10 floors for the most part and may even go up to 16 floors for some. The final goal is to create no less than 1,600 new housing units within these 18 wooden buildings. In addition to these 24 future structures, 12 projects have already been launched.

One of the advantages of wooden constructions is that they can reduce the duration of construction sites to only 12 months. Indeed, many of the elements of the construction are prefabricated in the factory before being sent to the site.

Towards an ecological architectural transition.

In addition to being able to revive the wood industry - which today represents 440,000 jobs in France - wood construction constitutes a real eco-responsible transition which tends to meet the many environmental challenges of the current century.

Currently, several projects are under construction, such as the wood block in Strasbourg, the site of which opened in March 2017 and which should be completed in 2018. This building made entirely of wood will have 11 floors for a total of 146 housing units.

In Bordeaux, two wooden buildings over 50 meters high are expected for 2020. See the article here .

In Nice, the "Tour Wilmotte" project is taking shape more and more with an impressive structure 115 meters high, with a total of 35 floors. This tower will consist of a concrete cylinder "dressed" with two wooden hemispheres. For the time being, no date has been set for the start of the work.

In the 17th arrondissement in Paris, the "Jardins Habités" project is undoubtedly one of the most ambitious with its 5,500 m² of building space. When finished, this project should accommodate 65 apartments. In Nanterre, another wood project should also be started soon. Called the "Arboretum", this building will serve as an office campus.

Currently, many wood specialists tend to counter the received ideas that we might still have with regard to this material, explaining that contrary to what one might think, wood offers a great modularity of shapes while being truly sustainable.

Read also on the subject: France invests in wood

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