Germany bets on serial timber constructions

Klara Geywitz, the German Minister for Housing, Urban Development and Construction, is a great advocate of serial construction based on the prefabrication of wooden buildings. This is how blocks of flats, high-rise buildings are to be built in Germany.

In July last year, German minister Klara Geywitz visited the MOD21 plant in Poland. It is no secret that the modules being built near Toruń have perfectly matched the needs of the German housing market. Entire housing estates are built there using wooden technology.

Like prefabricated wooden structures, mass housing also has its roots in Walter Gropius (the 19th century Berlin architect) and his ideas about the Bauhaus. At the beginning of 1910, Gropius presented his vision of housing built on an industrial scale through, among other things, the standardisation of construction elements. Today this is an important aspect of green building – fast construction, saving resources.

Environmental aspects play an important role in serial construction, such as the construction of prefabricated houses: the use of sustainable and locally available materials, such as wood, not only saves CO₂ emissions, but also creates a healthy indoor climate.

However, wood offers much more than that – it also allows the space to be easily rebuilt to suit the needs of the individual user, something that was not possible with prefabricated concrete blocks (who remembers the walls in blocks of flats where you couldn’t hang a picture without an impact drill?).

It is obvious that prefabrication of components in the factory saves time and costs. The individual components are precisely planned, manufactured and then simply assembled on site. This eliminates or reduces complicated construction work such as cutting wooden beams or plastering walls on site. Mass production in the factory increases quality and reduces construction time.

-Our industry is also becoming more and more interesting as a supplier for housing, because we have mastered series construction and can already offer sustainable modular building solutions,’ says Mathias Schäfer, president of the Federal Association of German Prefabricated Builders (BDF).

In order to achieve even greater speed and greater economies of scale with series-produced house elements, the framework of building law must be adapted. This applies to both Germany and Poland.

-Here, policy is needed, otherwise much of the savings potential offered by series construction will be lost, adds Mathias Schäfer.

The German minister’s visit to a Polish modular building plant perhaps just shows that politics is making good headway in the direction of series construction.

– Whether in Germany, Poland or any other country, people need affordable and habitable housing. This is where serial modular construction comes in,” said Klara Geywitz.

We would like to invite you to the Holzbau Forum Poland – to meet new business partners and gain knowledge about the contemporary timber construction market.

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