Woody Building Concepts – LINK

Continuing to use raw materials as usual is no longer an option. Sustainable and circular is what it should be, they also think at Woody construction concepts† The company – which will soon be housed in a brand new wooden building in Nieuwkuijk in Brabant – offers wooden construction concepts with standard dimensions. If the CO2tax on concrete and steel, then in their eyes it can really loosen up with wood.

Wood construction: later mainly a matter of price-quality

Sustainable wood? One might as well call it versatile in terms of the benefits of the material listed by commercial manager Job Kuijpers. Wood gives a lower CO2footprint during extraction and transport. It is easy and therefore quick to process and it holds on to CO2 firm. And what about the aesthetic value? ‘Wood is soothing, its appearance increases job satisfaction. In addition, it speaks as a company – also to the new generation of employees. They place more emphasis than ever on an employer who puts sustainability first and who shows up with the building. For one of our clients, the struggle for staff was the main reason for making the front of his new building as much as possible of wood. ‘ And yes, a wooden building has its challenges from an acoustic point of view. ‘But it can be solved by adding mass and attention to detail.’

Modular and circular

Woody Building Concepts focuses on office environments, workspace and logistics buildings and work with standard targets as far as possible. This makes the wooden parts replaceable and can be used again later. Kuijpers would like this modular, circular approach to become commonplace throughout the market. ‘We really need to change things together. With Houtlab we are already leading by example – Practice what you preach

Hence the investment in a multifunctional, brand new wooden building, along the A59. Cluster Commercial Housing of Janssen de Jong Group, of which Woody Building Concepts is a part, Let It Build. When it is ready in the beginning of 2023, the Houtlab will adorn the facade and other companies in the group will also have their place there. Maarten Bakker, daily leader of the cluster: ‘We create space for collaboration and engineering work. And also to experiment and innovate together in the field of circularity and sustainability. ‘

‘If there is a CO2 tax, wood will immediately become cheaper,’ says Maarten Bakker, general manager of Cluster Bedrijfshuisvesting at Janssen de Jong Group.

Building function leading

concrete business Hercuton and steel business Remco Space Building also belongs to Cluster Bedrijfshuisvesting. Doesn’t it bite each other when you fully invest in wood as an alternative? Bakker does not think so. “Much depends on the function of a building, wood alone is not always the best solution. That is why we in the group are also looking at how we can use other materials as sustainably as possible (see text box, ed.), And with Woody Building Concepts we enjoy the knowledge we have gained from our other companies. ‘

This overall approach is characteristic, according to Bakker. ‘Some parties only design, others only build. We do both, and there are not many of these in the Netherlands – for wood. If desired, we can supply everything from design to construction, assembly and maintenance. ‘

Stumbling block for initial investments

What this approach leads to is shown by, among other things: Multi-company building HoutWerk in Utrecht† This circular building is made entirely of wood by Woody Building Concepts. An order from the developer lingotto, who sees the added value of wood and who was willing to pay the initial higher investment in the material for it. The latter, according to Kuijpers, is the reason why the boost with wood is not yet outstanding. »Wood is already a little more expensive than, for example, concrete. It is primarily a matter of supply and demand, with currently undercapacity in the wood processing industry. ‘

Getting that investment started is challenging, says Kuijpers. But the market is changing. Companies are increasingly taking responsibility for sustainability, whether they are driven by the demands of their customers or not. »In addition, wood has a lower TCO compared to concrete and steel (total cost of ownership, ed.). The residual value is higher because it is easier to process. Wood is also relatively light, which means that the substructure can be saved. ‘ Finally, Bakker refers to the expected CO2tax on, among other things, concrete and steel. ‘If that tax is introduced, wood will immediately become cheaper. It will secure new customers due to the even better price-quality ratio. ‘

Growth minute work

Job Kuijpers, commercial manager at Woody Building Concepts, emphasizes the value of wood in the battle for staff. ‘With a wooden building, you speak as a company.’ Photos: Woody Building Concepts

For its construction, Woody Building Concepts uses sustainable FSC-certified wood from Europe, where the necessary trees are also replanted. The growth is happening faster than you think, says Bakker. »Take HoutWerk’s load-bearing main structure, which includes nearly five hundred cubic meters of pine. The same amount has grown again within 3.5 minutes in Northern Europe. ‘

Such figures form the basis of the material passport system that construction leads to, intended as an overview of the ecological footprint in a product’s life cycle. Kuijpers: ‘What we do is in line with this, for example with BIM (building information modeling, ed.). In addition to the 3D design, this now also contains all materials and their origin. For us, a passport is no more than a push of a button, as proof that you have registered everything correctly.

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All developments in wood construction also reflect a revaluation of the material. Hills: “Wood was once the main component of construction. In the last century it was replaced by concrete, but now it is coming back more and more. Partly because of the sustainable properties, but also because of the look. After the corona, office buildings should become a kind of clubhouse where people want to work together in an inspiring environment. So there really has to be a reason to get in the office and work in a cohesive environment. Wood is contributing to this, and more and more companies are well aware of this. “

Wood accelerates

Program masterclass 13 October.

Concrete columns and wooden beams are increasingly being combined in distribution centers, as is also evident from the logistics projects that Woody Building Concepts and its sister company Hercuton have realized. The choice of wood is obvious, says Maarten Bakker, daily manager of Cluster Bedrijfshuisvesting at Janssen de Jong Group. ‘We can build fast with it, and our standardization also ensures a more valuable construction. And concrete, from our sister company New Horizon, will be circular in the near future. Circular concrete lowers CO2footprints with more than 60 per cent. This has a big impact, especially when you consider that concrete is responsible for 8 to 9 percent of global CO2emissions. ‘

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