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A 30-metre high wooden tower may become the symbol of Early Adopter City Trento.

The 3rd workshop in Trento organized by Urbasofia, Habitech and Comune di Trento took place at Palazzo Geremia, Trento, with around 20 participants, many of them institutional and R&I stakeholders, local architects and municipality officers.

The workshop was policy-oriented, focused on co-developing together with the participants potential action plans/strategies for the city of Trento and Trentino region by answering the question: “What can be translated in terms of policy/strategic directions for easing the solution of building with wood?”. Thus, the workshop was addressed mainly to research centers, Trentino’s regional departments/regional knowledge centers, cluster associations, the University of Trento and EURAC Research, who listened to various presentations mostly held by Build-in-Wood project partners and Comune di Trento.

Live questionnaire answers:

  • Almost 50% of the participants highlighted that if the city of Trento decides to build in wood, Trento will need a policy instrument focused on RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT (advanced training, best practice projects, technical training programs, model projects, public tenders).

  • The implications of this paradigm shift in the construction sector: change of approach by the realities involved, economic investment and growth in the sector, new construction methods for a green and sustainable city, strengthening of the production sector of panels and products for wooden houses, strengthening the demand for wooden buildings, digital supply chain, production/cost control.

  • More than 50% of the participants pointed out that the paradigm shift in the construction sector from “building as usual” to “ building with wood” should be first supported through Local initiatives/projects which can be scaled up at macro levels.

  • More than 60% of the participants consider to be of highly & medium important the implementation of mandatory regulations at the spatial planning level in order to support this paradigm shift in the construction sector; While more than 50% of the participants consider to be medium and highly important the implementation of mandatory regulation at building level.

  • Almost all participants considered that setting specific guidelines for using wood in open competitions for architecture/spatial planning projects can be a driver to wider adoption of wood as the main construction material.

Discussion session with the wood value chain stakeholders:

Forestry and wood products management in Trentino, in connection with the presentation delivered by the Forestry Department of the Autonomous Province of Trento during the workshop:

  • The Forestry Department explained a bit more the key aspects of the sustainability certification scheme of local forests (i.e., PFC and FSC schemes), which implies great attention to preserving biodiversity and mitigating impacts.

  • As for the geographical distribution of local wood products in the market, around 20% is delivered to neighboring regions, whereas a limited part is delivered in foreign countries, mostly due to high transportation costs. With regards to wood waste products, a large part of them is exported to the Province of Bolzano and to the Italian neighbouring regions.

  • Since 2017 the auction sale system runs online (first case in Italy) and has been identified as a best practice for further replication in other regions, according to the Chamber of Commerce of Trento, which is in charge of the “Legno Trentino” Platform.

H2020 ARV Project is a potential follow-up of the BIW project, an urban development plan for the surrounding area of Piedicastello, the local district “demo-case”: For the time being the northern side of the demo – today used as a car parking area – is identified as a possible “buffer zone”, to be further re-develop as a commuting parking also linked to e-mobility and sustainable facilities that could mitigate the traffic flows from and to the city.

Building in wood vs. Market conditions and constraints:

  • One of the reasons why wood construction development is limited is due to the lack of a comparison system within the market, between wood buildings and “business as usual” solutions which could be useful both to end-users and clients to understand the benefits and differences; This is also linked to limited capabilities of local enterprises (craft business models) which estimate costs based on standard price lists for construction materials. Policy makers and representative associations could bring additional and valuable support to raise awareness and spread more information at a local/regional level.

  • The contingent high variability of wood costs discouraged the choice of using wood resources for building both by the private and public sectors. An update of the price list for construction materials is currently managed by the Province of Trento.

The participants jointly explored how Build-in-Wood results can support Trento and Trentino’s municipalities in increasing the use of wood in construction, what type of policy instruments would be needed if the city of Trento decides to build in wood, and what can be translated in terms of policy/strategic directions for easing the solution of building with wood.

3D Model of the Digital Pilot Project Trento: (C. F. Møller Architects)

Many thanks to the six Build-in-Wood partners, who contributed to the workshop: Habitech, Urbasofia, University of Siena, Waugh Thistleton Architects, C. F. Møller Architects, proHolz Tirol


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