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European Timber Days

1st GATE Inter-Regional Seminar

Rudolstadt, Thuringia

21, 22 September 2005

Rudolstadt, Thuringia
Rudolstadt, Thuringia

The theme for the first GATE inter-regional seminar was 'Perception' and consisted of one day of site visits and a one day conference.

Please click on the link below to read a full report from a young participant:
Review of European Timber Days
Remark: The following report was sent to us by a younger participant at my request. I want to publish this report only translated without corrections.
Ulf Dieter Pitzing - GATE Partner, Thuringia

Day 1 - Field Visits:

The site visits began with a tour of the very large sawmill at Klausner Holz Thuringen in Friesau. This sawmill has an annual workflow of 1.5 million cubic metres.

Visit to Klausner Holz Thuringen Sawmill
Visit to Klausner Holz Thuringen Sawmill

Herr Schultz explaining timber quality to the group
Herr Schultz explaining timber quality to the group

<span class='usersmall'>The sawmill has an annual workflow of 1.5 million cubic metres
The sawmill has an annual workflow of 1.5 million cubic metres

The tour continued to a lakeside youth hostel at Plothener Hausteich. The whole complex made extensive use of timber in all it's buildings and structures.

Youth Hostel at Plothener Hausteich
Youth Hostel at Plothener Hausteich

The Youth Hostel makes extensive use of timber
The Youth Hostel makes extensive use of timber

Football court constructed from timber
Football court constructed from timber

Fishing lodge on stilts at Plothener Hausteich
Fishing lodge on stilts at Plothener Hausteich

After lunch the group visited the city of Jena, famous for it's university and optical industries. The group climbed the town church steeple in order to view the restoration of the tower hood. The roof truss won a construction award in Thuringia in 2004. Due to space limitations on the ground, the construction work had to be carried out in a very limited area.

Wooden roof restoration in the city church of Jena
Wooden roof restoration in the city church of Jena

The group then visited two timber frame houses close to Jena. Both these houses made use of sustainable methods of construction and heating.

Visit to a private house at Rauhtal
Visit to a private house at Rauhtal

Visit to a private house at Drobnitz
Visit to a private house at Drobnitz

Day 2 - Conference

The attendees to the Conference were welcomed by Herr Creter, Managing Director of the Crafts Chamber of Thuringia. He fully supported the use of timber and its new ways of using it especially as it a renewable source of material. He wished GATE success in spreading the word and encouraging a greater use of timber in construction.

Frank Hohle from Thuringia
Frank Hohle from Thuringia

1) Frau Dr Ingrid Lützkendorf - Dept Manager of Architecture + Building Systems, Institute of Prefabrication Technology and Construction, Weimar.
Topic: - Building with Timber - use of potentials
Students Competition 06 - Multi-story Building with Timber
Thuringia 33% of which is forest and likely to rise with 2 as much growing than being used.
Types of wooden buildings: -
• Half timbering - modernised locally (prefabricated)
• Skeletal - joints reinforced
• Induo - bolted joints (rod)
• Bekolog - skeletal and laminated (Glulam load bearing timbers)
• Glolam Construction - large load-bearing - automated system - modern
• Tooth plaged Construction - roofs up to 30 meters bearing systems
• Balloon Framing 81 Fünf - no plastic vapour barrier
• Agepan - different types open to diffusion
• Frameworks - USA which have been altered for European use.
• Blue Box - prefabricated container systems 3 x 3 base model
• Space Partition systems - high degree of prefabricated - laminar joints / solid cross section
• Laminated timber - concrete composite elements - improved load bearing
• Lenotec - Leminar - boards glued crosswise to each other - prefabricated for construction - custom made.
• Ligntrend - Leminar - crosswise board slats - easy to install
• Lignatur - box large bearing distances
• Steko - small parts / shape with special joints
• KFN module system -5 x 5 metres etc. Can be put next in any way up to 3 storey
• Wallpaper House - Austrian - novel concept - prefabricated boxes / container modular system with a high degree of prefabricated

The Students are the planners of tomorrow so should be encouraged to make more use of timber in innovative ways. The Spring 2006 Competition which will be completed in October 2006 / International November (University Erfurt) will have 80 / 90 students entered. The Professor will choose the best, but a jury will choose the winner. The best 3 would come together and an overall winner chosen from these. Prize - money or a trip to other Regional Partner regions.

Dr Ingrid Lützkendorf from Thuringia
Dr Ingrid Lützkendorf from Thuringia

She was approached by tom to see if she was prepared to send us a CD of her presentation which she readily agreed and said that she would also enclose interesting pictures she had. She was agreeable for these to be placed on the GATE Website.
The disc has been received and Nigel Callaghan is placing these on the Website on our behalf.

2) Dr Milan Sernek - Assistant Professor, University of Ljubljana, Department of Wood Science + Technology, Slovenia
Topic: Using Wood for Construction in Slovenia
Traditional use - hayracks with their own unique design
Modern use - houses built mostly in wood (wooden wheel 5000 years old)

Dr Milan Sernek from Slovenia
Dr Milan Sernek from Slovenia

57% of Slovenia is covered by Forest of which 47% Conifers (Spruce) and 53% deciduous (Beech). They have a problem of not cutting and using enough wood. The Country has the highest capacity of brown bears in the world.
They have 177 registered sawmills employing 1977 and are mostly on a smaller scale and different with 52.9% exported.

• MARLES - have 50 years of experience and have built 22000 homes
• JELOVICA - prefabricated modules
• Riko Hiše - all wood eco homes - natural conservancies - not toxic. They export most of their buildings to Germany - unique build not multi etc.
• Others Lumar, Smaeha, Kager and Biva-hiše.d.o.o.

Wood Beams Glulam
Others - Parudy, Svea, Mizarstud, Sveteli
Was not able to open any of the above sites!! Use wood mostly for furniture.
Industry - ask them aspects of using wood
16 questions with 56 sent out to companies, and 25 responded - 45%
Companies classed as small with up to 50 employees
Medium - >50 -250
Large - over 250

Q. Why do consumers not use more wood in windows / doors?
• Maintenance
• Lack of Information
• Durability
• Design
• Price

Q. Why Glued Beams not used?
• Price
• Lack of information
• Adhesive bond
• Supply
• Transport
• Other
• Requirements
88% support GATE

Q. More Houses from wood?
• Perception / prejudice
• Lack of information
• Experiences / DIY
• Price
• Other

Slovenia are going to hold a Regional Conference on the 10th November 2006 on Challenges for the greater use of glued timber in Architecture
The speakers will all be Slovenian but will hope to translate the presentations into English and make them available on the GATE Website.

3) Herr Schulze - Professional Adviser on Timber Construction They provide a free service but timber has a special product tax on it which is used for the promotion of timber construction. Owners / mill owners pay for it. They also look at Fire Safety + Construction Physics - water vapour / diffusion.
Innovative Materials - they work with and advice students to promote the knowledge of timber.

People / companies usually come to him when damage has occurred although they are promoting people and architects should come when they are in the design stage.

He considered that the developments made in the last couple of years make Wood Construction very interesting for the future with innovation. The problems occur when they do not stick to Procedures and Regulations and timber is the most ecological method of construction.
A quality timber house is as expensive as an ordinary construction but elements make it better - environment, heat, light etc. The high transport costs are an expense but it has a shorter building time.
The facade which will turn grey in time does not look nice in the long term, and changes in different areas - not uniform. Would prefer thin layers but these would not be water resistant. He expects a breakthrough in the future.

4) Märt Riistop - Deputy Managing Director, Estonian Forest Industries Association, Estonia. +
Gave details on the Wooden Architecture and Architectural Competitions in Estonia. Showed winners for 2003, 2004 and some of those who are in with a chance in 2005.

Mart Riistop from Estonia
Mart Riistop from Estonia

5) Herr Rainer Kozieraz, Timber Association of Thuringia
The carpenter in the area of conflict between customer's requirements and reality. They use natural products with no chemicals. The customer wants a wide variety of choice - flexible floor plan. Quality comes at a Price! Carpenters are well able to meet the public requirements but Regulations do cause problems. Agreement between carpenters and Public and this reduces prejudices. He strongly believed that Architects do not design enough with / for wood.

6) Ulf-Dieter Pitzing, Umweltzentrum des Handwerks, Thuringia
Gave information on the background of Interreg111C

Ulf Dieter Pitzing from Thuringia
Ulf Dieter Pitzing from Thuringia

7) Paul Finch, External Funding Manager, Forestry Commission Wales
spoke on Wood in Architecture in Wales.

Paul Finch from Wales
Paul Finch from Wales

• Nant Yr Arian is the type of thing people in Wales want to see, but they do not really want houses that look like it is made of wood. It was built using local timber, but nearly all of timber used in Wales is from Scandinavia.
• BRE - Building Research Establishment, Watford but now have an office in Wales. They carry out research on building with timber, as well as energy saving, environmental build.
• Gwalia Housing Association are instrumental in bringing forward timber building.
• Most timber frame in UK looks like traditional houses, as long as it can't be seen. Scotland -30% with England and Wales beginning to grow. We need to work hard to make people understand timber benefits better.
• Wales through assistance from BRE have built 3-5-6 stories high buildings, and did a test building. We have technology, understand economics and costs.
• Pumlumon a very traditional property which was burnt down. Still allowed timber frame construction with a lot of build on site. This was the first in Wales and at the time the biggest in the UK. Many lessons learnt - compression and shrinkage, problem of lifts which are free standing, noise etc. 2 more timber blocks in Aberystwyth, also in Cardiff and Swansea.
• We have not sold it to people yet! A key goal should be Green Building regulations throughout Europe. Greener homes and building concept, and the way forward is a big target for GATE.

The biggest problem is perception and we need to work on that.

Many thanks and congratulations to our partners from Thuringia for a successful first inter-regional seminar.

Delegates at the close of the Conference
Delegates at the close of the Conference