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GATE 3rd Focus Group Meeting


Ljubljana, Slovenia, July 2006

The beautiful scenery of Slovenia
The beautiful scenery of Slovenia

GATE partners met at the University of Ljubljana for the 3rd Focus Group meeting. The primary purpose of this meeting was to agree and finalise the 'Technical Solutions' that the project will present at the Slovenian Inter-Regional seminar at the end of September. It was agreed that these will be in the form of presentations, in the morning, given by stakeholders from each of the partner regions and a series of workshop sessions in the afternoon. Further details about this seminar and the topics to be discussed will be appear on the GATE website closer to the event and a detailed report will be published after the event.

The seminar will be titled "Building a New Europe - with Timber"

The Focus Group at Bled Castle
The Focus Group at Bled Castle

The field visit day comprised of a visit to the SVEA Group. They have 3 companies in Slovenia with 200 employees. They began by manufacturing kitchens but now also have a sawmill producing round wood, sawn wood and laminated beams. We saw glulam being produced on a small scale. Their small capacity means that they have more flexibility than larger mills, with the ability to take on special orders and are very competitive on price and delivery times. Their one press can accommodate beams of varying length.

Glulam production at the SVEA Mill
Glulam production at the SVEA Mill

We also visited the SVEA kitchen showroom and looked at a variety of solid wood and laminated cabinets. We then climbed a tower sponsored by SVEA in the beautiful Mozirje flower gardens. The tower was constructed with 60 cubic metres of laminated spruce beams, treated for fire resistance. The stairs and flooring were made from 125 cubic metres of larch.

The SVEA Tower in Mozirje Gardens
The SVEA Tower in Mozirje Gardens

In the afternoon we visited the SMREKA Company to look at the manufacture of small solid wood houses, mainly used for holiday homes. They also produce summer houses, garden sheds, pergolas etc. Pre-fabrication and jointing is carried out at the company and then houses are assembled on-site.

Solid wood holiday home at the SMREKA Company
Solid wood holiday home at the SMREKA Company

Cutaway showing construction methods at SMREKA
Cutaway showing construction methods at SMREKA

A big thank you to our Slovenian partners for organising this event.