PDD: The investment in Łódź has started. What are the main advantages of wood in construction?
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The company Polskie Domy Drewniane together with the general contractor, i.e. a consortium of RISER and RISER.domy, officially started the investment in Łódź on 9th December this year. Currently, preparatory works are underway on the construction site. After the new year, the assembly of buildings in Wood Core House technology will start. It is a patented system of building modular wooden frame structures, created for modern and ecological construction.
11 terraced houses with 14 parking spaces will be built in Łódź. Currently, preparatory works are being carried out on the construction site and related to the detailed design of buildings, roads and installation networks. After the new year, when the general contractor will receive an official building permit, foundation and assembly works of the building structure in Wood Core House technology will start.
– A symbolic shovel is an important moment for us. We are officially starting our first investment with the belief that it is in the hands of professionals. The technology we are betting on, i.e. the Wood Core House manufacturer’s modular system is a guarantee of durable, safe and energy-efficient houses. According to the schedule, the construction will be completed in the last quarter of 2021 and I hope that the keys will also be in the hands of the first residents. We are planning to start further investments soon. We are also constantly expanding our land bank – says Tomasz Szlązak, President of the Management Board of Polskie Domów Drewnianych S.A.
Technology is the main distinguishing feature of the housing estate in Łódź
Wood Core House is a manufacturer of a modular system for building wooden frame structures. This innovative system was first scrupulously recalculated, designed and then subjected to research and testing under the supervision of Dr Eng. Janusz Brol in the Department of Building Engineering at the Silesian University of Technology. The obtained results confirm the durability and strength of the technology developed by Wood Core House.
The main material which will also be used in Łódź is structural spruce wood joined by wedge joints (KVH) and glued wood (BSH). Thick floor joists made of KVH wood allow for the use of underfloor heating and heavy floor screed. Whereas the solid construction of the roof makes it possible to load it with ceramic or cement tiles as well as solar and photovoltaic panels.
– Only certified materials are used in the Wood Core House system. From the highest quality KVH wood to connectors, anchors and the smallest elements such as screws. This guarantees high quality construction. Buildings constructed in this technology consist in 80% of insulation, which translates into high thermal insulation and lower operating costs. Another important aspect is the ecological dimension of the technology. Thanks to the use of natural raw material, which, by the way, is domestic wood, we reduce CO2 emissions, and the innovative production process minimizes the amount of waste. A 136-square-metre house generates only 0.15 cubic metres of waste,” says Piotr Góralczyk, President of the Management Board of RISER and RISER.domy consortium.
The Wood Core House frame structure system reduces prefabrication time and thus construction time. Completion of work in Łódź is planned for the last quarter of 2021.
5 main advantages of using wood in construction
For hundreds of years, people have been using the properties of wood to build houses, churches and public buildings. Then we moved away from this ecological building material to concrete, steel and aluminium, but in recent years there has been a return to wood-based construction on world markets. Examples include several-storey wooden skyscrapers in Norway, Austria or Canada, and wooden housing estates in Poland created by Polish Wooden Houses. Below is five evidence that wood can successfully compete with other building materials.
Advantage no. 1: fire resistance
Modern wooden structures have a higher fire resistance than other materials, which increase in volume as the temperature changes. An example is steel, which expands and collapses as a result of temperature increase, while wood practically does not change its volume. Under the influence of heat, wood dries out and becomes harder. In addition, aluminium conducts heat 7000, steel 1650 and glass 23 times faster than wood.
The fire resistance of prefabricated wooden buildings has recently been confirmed by a fire experiment carried out in Pionki by the Building Research Institute and the State Fire Service. Despite extremely high temperatures, the structure of the two-storey wooden building, with an area of 110.5 sq m, has not been affected. Moreover, the fire did not spread to other rooms.
Advantage no. 2: speed and precision
Nowadays, the entire wooden structure is prepared in a prefabrication plant under fully controlled conditions, which guarantees an appropriate level of accuracy. On the construction site, only the finished elements are joined together. The assembly time of even a large structure is counted in weeks, not months. What’s more, there is virtually no building debris produced during the assembly and joining of the elements, so the site is immediately ready for further work such as finishing or infrastructure.
– With our first investments in Łódź and Choroszcz we are starting right now. Due to the fact that the basic material is wood, our general contractors do not limit the weather conditions. Most of the process takes place in the factory, which means that we are not affected by seasonality. It is at a time when the housing deficit in Poland is estimated by the Ministry of Development at 641 thousand flats that is a significant variable,” says Tomasz Szlązak, President of the Management Board of Polskie Dom Drewniana S.A.
Advantage no. 3: ecology
Wood is the only fully renewable building material, which is also characterised by negative CO2 emissions. Analyses by architect Andrew Waugh, a specialist in wooden constructions, show that the carbon dioxide emissions during the entire production process (at the sawmill, during transport or assembly) are less than the sum of the CO2 captured from the atmosphere during tree growth. Therefore, wooden construction plays a key role in the idea of sustainable development and responsible resource management.
Advantage no. 4: friendliness
The use of natural elements in construction is not only a question of aesthetics, but also of the well-being of the residents. According to the Think Wood study, timber-framed buildings have the effect of both increasing the level of relaxation and reducing the level of stress. Moreover, wood, unlike many other building materials, has no toxic properties.
Advantage no. 5: energy efficiency and good thermal insulation
Wood has natural thermo-insulating properties. Its use in buildings reduces the energy demand for space heating and cooling, leading to reduced and less fossil fuel consumption.
– The cellular structure of wood makes it 15 times better insulator than concrete and 400 times better than steel. According to European Wood, a 2.5 cm thick wooden plank has a higher thermal resistance than an 11.4 cm thick brick wall. This, of course, translates into a more favourable energy balance and in the perspective of long-term use, you can count on greater savings, which amount to about 10-15%,” concludes Tomasz Szlązak, President of the Management Board of Polskie Dom Drewniany S.A.