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Workshop #1: Strengthening the Demand Side in Urban Wood Construction

Updated: Mar 12




The workshop's primary goal is to chart the construction segment within the timber value chain system. Through this process, the participants aim to uncover obstacles and limitations faced by key actors, while simultaneously exploring innovative approaches to position timber as a prevalent building material. The workshop places a specific focus on the construction segment, intending to deepen understanding of system dynamics and catalyze transformative processes across the entire value chain, spanning from forest to city.


Date: 13.11.2023 FORUM Architekturgebäude TU Berlin (U Ernst-Reuter-Platz) Intention: We can only answer the questions of climate protection and the housing shortage together. Wood and other renewable raw materials play a key role, although there are social reservations and economic barriers. It is crucial to understand the demand side and identify solutions. With representatives of the fields of architecture, engineering and structural planning, fire protection, wood module production, investment, science and research we use this kick-off meeting as starting point for our workshop series, where arising topics shall be further elaborated and scaleable pathways to solution for the German market developed. Offer: That’s why we shared the latest developments of the Value Chain Digital Model (VCDM). It is used to visualize complex issues and check scenarios. We explored the extent to which ecological and economic factors depend on each other and how they can be integrated more effectively into the process. The aim is to achieve data-driven policymaking, greater transparency within the construction industry and the democratization of information about the built environment. Proceedings: This event took place in cooperation with the research project DiKieHo*, CHORA Berlin. Value Chain Digital Model (VCDM) for pine-based timber construction in Berlin-Brandenburg - DiKieHo - The TU Berlin, together with Fraunhofer IPK and Fraunhofer WKI, are investigating and developing the digital networking of the value chain in urban multi-storey timber construction with the aim of strengthening the sector. This will be specifically examined using the example of the Berlin-Brandenburg region in order to realize the efficient use of regionally available pine wood in construction. This project runs until September 2025.





Photos: Raquel Gómez Delgado


3 Takeaways


1. Costs and Finances due to Building with Timber: Discussion highlighted concerns regarding the financial aspects of timber construction, including initial costs and long-term financial implications. Potential challenges were identified in securing financing for timber projects, particularly in comparison to conventional construction methods. Recommendations may include exploring innovative financing mechanisms tailored to timber construction projects, such as green financing or incentives for sustainable building practices. Additionally, fostering partnerships with financial institutions to increase awareness of the economic viability and long-term benefits of timber construction could help overcome financial barriers.


2. Questions related to Maintenance of Timber Buildings: Participants raised inquiries regarding the maintenance requirements and longevity of timber buildings. Concerns centered around factors such as durability, decay resistance, and maintenance costs over time. Recommendations may include conducting comprehensive research and providing educational resources to address misconceptions and provide accurate information regarding the maintenance needs of timber structures. Additionally, promoting the use of durable timber species and incorporating protective measures, such as proper sealing and periodic inspections, can enhance the longevity and maintenance efficiency of timber buildings.


3. Lack of Collaboration and Data/Innovation Transfer: The discussion highlighted a lack of collaboration and information sharing within the timber construction industry, hindering innovation and knowledge transfer. Participants emphasized the need for enhanced collaboration among stakeholders, including architects, engineers, manufacturers, and researchers, to foster innovation and drive advancements in timber construction technologies and practices. Recommendations may include establishing collaborative platforms, such as industry networks or knowledge-sharing initiatives, to facilitate exchange and collaboration. Additionally, investing in research and development efforts focused on addressing industry challenges and promoting technology transfer can stimulate innovation and drive progress in the timber construction sector.




We would like to thank all participants for their valuable contributions. The following companies

Organizations were represented:

Präger Richter Architekten

drmm studio

Knippers Helbig

Deimel Oelschläger Architekten

Laborgh Investment

Arche Naturhaus

Brandschutz Akademie Berlin

CHORA conscious city

Technische Universität Berlin

vivi house

Fraunhofer IPK This event takes place as part of a grant from Built by Nature.




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