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Unlocking the Potential of Timber Construction: 3rd Early Adopter City Workshop in Innsbruck

Updated: Oct 19, 2023


(c) proHolz Tirol
(c) proHolz Tirol

Introduction:

In the picturesque city of Innsbruck, the final Early Adopter City Workshop of the EU project Build-in-Wood unfolded, illuminating the remarkable progress and potential of multi-storey timber construction in urban environments. This transformative initiative, embraced by over 20 stakeholders from diverse industries, aimed to promote sustainability and drastically reduce CO2 emissions within the building sector. With an array of captivating presentations and engaging discussions, the workshop shed light on the innovative approaches and collaborative efforts required to make timber construction a cornerstone of the future.


(c) proHolz Tirol
(c) proHolz Tirol

Harnessing Knowledge and Expertise:

The workshop commenced with proHolz Tirol, represented by Kurt Ziegner, and City Councillor Gerhard Fritz, emphasizing the immense benefits of timber construction in fostering sustainability and curbing industrial CO2 emissions. These visionary leaders set the stage for a productive day filled with invaluable insights.

Sebastian Bildau from C.F. Møller Architects captivated the audience with his presentation on the "Build-in-Wood Design Guide". Recognizing the lack of expertise often hindering large-scale timber projects, this comprehensive tool aims to bridge the knowledge gap and empower newcomers to embrace timber construction confidently. The implementation of the guide showcased during the workshop sparked great interest, reaffirming the importance of accessible resources for aspiring timber builders.


(c) proHolz Tirol
(c) proHolz Tirol

Expanding Urban Policies for Sustainable Cities:

Through a video conference, Madalina Rusen, an urban planner from Urbasofia, shared her expertise on "Making wood cities happen: New urban policies for sustainable and carbon-neutral cities". The ensuing discussion highlighted the desire for concrete inputs regarding the promotion of timber construction projects, particularly from the perspective of cities. Although specific assurances could not be provided at the time, the unwavering interest and enthusiasm from political representatives showcased their commitment to conscious initiatives in this field.

Showcasing Digital Pilot Projects:

Sebastian Bildau returned to the stage to showcase digital pilot projects, featuring inspiring examples from cities like Trondheim, Amsterdam, and Innsbruck. The audience marveled at the possibilities of the Build-in-Wood system, which promises a revolution in the construction industry. Notably, the planned development of a residential building in Innsbruck's "Hungerburg" area exemplified the integration of timber construction in urban landscapes.


(c) proHolz Tirol
(c) proHolz Tirol

A Holistic Approach: Industry and Regulation:

Sebastian Hernandez from Stora Enso shared a broader perspective from the timber industry, emphasizing the necessity of a standardized prefabricated system to streamline timber construction projects along the value chain. The ensuing discussion shed light on the challenges faced by the timber construction industry, including complex building regulations. Participants expressed the need for political intervention to make timber construction more competitive in subsidized housing and emphasized the importance of maintaining the creative freedom that timber construction allows.

Promoting Sustainable Growth:

Throughout the workshop, participants recognized the importance of (further) education and sustainable collaborations in driving the success of the timber construction industry. They emphasized the need for balanced growth to prevent overwhelming existing planning and production capacities, which could compromise quality. The workshop underscored the significance of political stability, long-term planning security, and simplified building regulations to facilitate the increased use of timber as a building material, contributing to climate protection and ensuring the industry's future viability.

(c) proHolz Tirol
(c) proHolz Tirol

Conclusion:

The Early Adopter City Workshop of the Build-in-Wood project served as a powerful platform for industry experts, architects, and policymakers to converge and envision a future where timber construction plays a central role in sustainable urban development. The presentations, discussions, and interactive sessions highlighted the potential of timber construction, addressed challenges, and emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts and supportive regulation. With these insights and commitments, the journey towards a greener, more innovative, and resilient construction industry gains momentum, setting the stage for a brighter and more sustainable future.

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