Building in wood, the new Neo-Aquitaine gold

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New Aquitaine and its prefecture, Bordeaux, are at the heart of innovation. Indeed, the largest region of France is pushed in its development on many sectors. Research, aeronautics and the development of bio-energy are at the heart of its objectives. Bordeaux has also embarked on an unprecedented ecological transition, with the introduction of greener solutions. Among these solutions, the more frequent use of wood is advanced, in the short, medium and long term.

Large-scale meetings around wood in the service of progress

Bordeaux is the scene of events and events that reward the development of innovative projects. In September 2017 for example, an international event was held in Bordeaux, the WoodriseWorld Congress. Specializing in medium and large wooden buildings, he promotes bio-sourced construction. But the city and the region are also taking part in the Regional Wood Construction Days. This event is organized annually by the Interprofessions Forest Wood Paper of the region. It is an annual event showcasing innovative projects in the construction and housing sector. The fourth edition planned for 2020 already promises beautiful innovations, from the lineage of previous editions. Editions punctuated by the awarding of the Regional Wood Construction Award. Indeed, in 2019, 124 candidates competed, and 17 were rewarded.

The competition jury is made up of regional and national partners, specializing in building and architecture. Their aim is to reveal all the neo-Aquitaine dynamism of the construction of wooden buildings. However, this is not the only objective pursued by the organizers. They also want to develop local woods, which are present in the region to the tune of 2.8 million hectares. Rich and diverse forest massifs throughout New Aquitaine, adding value to any construction. There are no less than 15 different wood species, all of which are the choice for building quality buildings. In addition, the wood sector in New Aquitaine generates jobs: more than 41,000 employees work in this field. A promising sector, therefore, which is fully in line with the energy transition objectives already set.

Driving an entire city with wooden construction

Bordeaux wants to turn to greener and more environmentally friendly solutions. Indeed, it multiplies the actions and the organization of events with ecological scope. The latest, the European Energy Transition Assizes,in January, is a good example. With the cooperation of European countries, the city of Bordeaux wants to find lasting solutions to build a clean world. These initiatives are essential for such a city, whose development has been going on for several years. Attracting businesses and being also a very touristy city, Bordeaux wants to be a modern and model city. It is for this reason that the construction of wooden buildings is at the heart of its development projects.

Already in 2015, Bordeaux Euratlantique was destined to be a major project helping to shape the Bordeaux of tomorrow. The city, with the help of the Public Planning Establishment (EPA), was already beginning to plan for the construction of wooden buildings. A major construction programme was then put in place. It provides for the annual construction of 25,000 square metres of buildings with internal wooden structures over 15 years. In sum, this represents more than 350 dwellings each year. The signing of the construction project for the Hyperion apartment tower represents the foundation stone of this ambitious building. The first tower made entirely of wood, rising to 50 meters, is the highest in the country. Very quickly, construction projects and signatures helped to achieve the objectives set. As a result, the city has taken tertiary buildings, housing and public facilities out of the ground in many neighbourhoods.

Wood, a material that respects the Bordeaux environment

Bordeaux is a metropolis known for the quality of its standard of living. This is one of the reasons for the population increase in recent years. In addition, its dynamic business also encourages companies to set up shop there. To make up for all these arrivals, the city builds or rehabilitates entire neighbourhoods. This is the case, for example, of Brazza, located on the Right Bank, far from the original industrial buildings. It now offers tree-lined spaces, bike path networks and dwellings. The Ginko eco-neighbourhood in Bordeaux Lac is made up of apartment buildings made of wood. It was one of the first “green” neighbourhood projects in the city. The craze for this type of construction is not only aesthetic, it has many advantages.

The first notable advantage of wood is that it is environmentally friendly. It does not emit CO2, unlike materials such as steel or concrete, which are widely used in construction. As energy expenditure is lower, this is totally in line with the energy transition plan already initiated by Bordeaux. The resources and raw materials are local, with the different varieties of trees present throughout the region, much less expensive.

The construction sites in the city are often long, and cause nuisance for people nearby. With wooden constructions, there is significantly less noise nuisance, the parts are already ready in advance. There is also no more olfactory nuisances, for the same reason. The buildings are therefore less disturbing in the city centre, and especially less long. Indeed, to build a tower in the dimensions of Hyperion, with traditional materials, it would take nearly 18 months. With the wood used, on the other hand, the construction took only one year. Notable advantages that will gradually take place over time…

Audrey KOZACZKA – BORDEAUX Business

Sources:

Press release – 4th New Aquitaine Wood Construction Award

Wood-building line – Bordeaux Euratlantique

Construction Bois Nouvelle-Aquitaine – Regional Price 2019

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