The success of the initiative was immediate, since it took only a few days, following the announcement, for the bus to be full. Fifty participants from all sectors (foresters, sawmills, architects, engineers, builders, …), but also several potential advocates (public and private), were able to (re)discover how wood is becoming a material of the future.

“We wanted to highlight the innovation and the new ways, sometimes revolutionary, that the use of wood in construction can bring. There is enormous potential for development over the next few years, “explains Philippe Genot, manager of the Luxembourg Wood Cluster. “The interest shown by the large number of participants in this tour clearly shows the positive momentum in the wood industry.”

Export objective

The “Mir paken Holz un” tour started in Potaschbierg, with the presentation of the product “Holz-Beton-Verbundträger”, developed by Steffen Holzbau. This project is supported by Luxinnovation’s “National Funding” teams who are helping with a grant request under the RDI law.

“Holz-Beton-Verbundträger” is a new concept that combines the advantages of wood and concrete and allows for longer spans and a new configuration for the passage of ducts. On the site which was visited, several prototypes are being installed. “We wanted to show that our local SMEs are open to innovation and are also planning to export these new products,” says Philippe Genot.

In line with Rifkin

Heading next to the new Beschcrèche in Betzdorf, a public building (of the Betzdorf Municipal Administration; Architect: Witry & Witry architecture urbanisme; Civil Engineer / Technical Engineer: SGI Ingénierie), winner of two prestigious architectural prizes in 2016: the Holzbaupreis Eifel and the Bauhärepräis awarded by the Order of Architects and Consulting Engineers.

The building is located on the edge of the forest and highlights the architectural importance of wood construction, as well as the choice of different types of wood.  Especially, since wood is a material that enjoys a certain “love” from people and fits perfectly with the concepts of well-being and quality of life.

The delegation then continued to Sandweiler to the site of another public building, the “Wanteraktioun”, which highlights the use of beech wood in large-scale constructions.

This project from the Public Buildings Administration has even been designated as a pilot-project in this field, with the aim of acquiring the necessary experience for future beech wood projects in Luxembourg and thus promote the use of regional wood.

In all, about 450 m3 of beech wood will be needed for the construction of both buildings. “We have seen the implementation of a revolutionary system that uses this type of very specific wood. This project is perfectly aligned with the implementation of the Rifkin study and it is important for the state to set an example in this area, “notes Philippe Genot.

Start-ups too

The tour was completed with the visit to a world premiere construction site, the first house built according to the LEKOLabs system, a crossed wood technology assembled by pins, allowing a fixation without glue, 100% removable and recyclable, developed by the start-up of the same name.

This is a model based on the use of beech wood, proof that it is not necessary to be active in the high technology sector to innovate. The young entrepreneurs behind the LEKOLabs project say themselves that they are “on a mission to accelerate the global transition to sustainable housing and are determined to revolutionize the way buildings are built by taking a technological approach to overcome the inefficiencies of traditional construction”.

“With this tour we played our catalytic and facilitator role and brought together people interested in exciting and innovative projects,” says Philippe Genot.

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