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Former barracks may currently be the most exciting construction site in Germany. A major investor is developing a zero energy town called City of Wood, and setting new standards in timber construction with the first eight-story building of its kind.

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Germany's first eight-story timber building is complete. It is 25 m high, and has a floor area of 1740 m2. It is mainly based on solid timber components, pre-fabricated by the timber construction company Huber & Sohn. It took just two days on site to build each story and was set up in sixteen days. The walls are pre-built components, including insulation, shuttering and windows. The ceilings consist of multiple plywood panels. The wooden surfaces emphasize the key role of the modern and sustainable building material. Approximately 570 m³ of fir wood has been used, most of which came from Bavaria. That means more than 500 t CO² are taken away from the earth's atmosphere in the long run.

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The pioneering project is located on a 70 ha former US army barracks in Bad Aibling. Five years ago, the site was acquired by B & O, a provider of technical real estate services. Since that time, they have invested around 35 million euros there in restoring existing buildings and in new construction projects. In addition to commercial and office space, apartments, schools and a hotel and conference center will be built.

The multiple functions planned for the site are reflected in the 2.6 million euros eight-story structure. Half of it is intended to become offices, with the builder B & O, among others, set to move into the penthouse and the two floors below, while the other half will largely be used for accessible residential units. The floor plans are extremely flexible and allow both different office types and various apartment types in a double or triple configuration, with two, three and four rooms. This versatility is made possible by reducing the supporting structure to just a few walls, enabling all floor plans to be varied to meet individual requirements. Requiring just 18 kWh/(m2a) of energy for heating, the building is close to achieving passive house standards. Thicker insulation of the outer walls would, of course, have made an even better figure possible, but certification would then have taken considerably longer, and disproportionately high additional costs would have occurred. The hot water supply and temperature control in the rooms are provided by a solar heating plant, a ventilation system with heat recovery and a connection to the site's wood chip heating system. A wind turbine to be attached to the roof at a later date and a retrofitted heat pump enable the "plus energy" standard to be attained.

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When developing the construction system, the planning team from Munich architects Schankula and bauart Konstruktion were supported by the timber construction company Huber & Sohn, along with researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences and the Institute for Window Technology (ift) in Rosenheim. The experts jointly devised innovative concepts in statics, fire prevention and soundproofing, where there were previously hardly any official building certifications for multi-story timber buildings, and which were being used for the first time here.

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Fact sheet
Client B&O Wohnungswirtschaft GmbH & Co. KG
Architects SCHANKULA Architekten/ Diplomingenieure
Structural engineers bauart Konstruktions GmbH & Co. KG
Main Contractors Huber & Sohn GmbH & Co. KG
Subcontractors ift Rosenheim
Suppliers of wood solutions Huber & Sohn GmbH & Co. KG
Building size 1300 ㎡ and 4900 m³
Construction system CLT, concrete (slabs of 1st floor, balconies and stairwells)
Construction time 04/2011 - 06/2011
Budget 2.6 Mio.
Year of completion 2011
Location Bad Aibling, Germany
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European Wood (in China)
C412, Beijing Lufthansa Center
50 Liangmaqiao Road, Chaoyang District
Beijing, P.R. China 100125
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Sino-European Wood Center
Room 202, Engineering Department,
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