Mounted on three floors, the wood-iD includes 24 wooden modules of 7.6 metres by 3.8 metres, which assemble like pieces of Lego (one length is equal to two widths). This construction method offers many advantages including material transport efficiency, speed of on-site assembly (around two weeks), flexible layout, rationalised use of space and comfort of use.
Wood is at the heart technological innovation synergies. As the contracting authority, BFF SA took advantage of this new construction to set up, in partnership with JPF, ENOKI, Groupe E, ECAB and SINEF SA, a centre of competence and innovation in the use of wood. Its objective is to pool know-how and develop good practices through economic, environmental, and social indicators. These collaborations have made it possible to focus on the circular economy and to promote the site’s low-carbon objectives.
Many materials were recovered from Annex 2, which was demolished to make way for the construction of the Smart Living Building which is dedicated to sustainable housing. For example, metal sheets have been used to clad the façade and lighting adapted to LED (upcycling) technology. Second-hand sanitary fixtures have been installed in the new building. In terms of sustainable development, the wood-iD stands out for its concept of passive cooling with natural ventilation. Some 60 square metres of photovoltaic panels cover its roof, sized to meet the building’s energy needs.
Valuing indigenous wood
Native wood was used in the modules’ construction. This material choice is increasingly sought in new buildings. By definition sustainable, wood is a resource that is produced and transformed in Switzerland, thus supporting local know-how and reducing the CO₂ impact of transportation. With an insulation value twelve times that of concrete, wood stands out for its versatility and properties as a renewable and recyclable raw material whose CO₂ storage capacities (1 m³ of wood stores 1 ton of CO₂) far exceed any other material. On the aesthetic side, studies highlight the benefits it provides for timber building occupants.
This construction received support from the New Regional Policy (NPR), up to 12% of the final cost. As for the competence centre, it will continue to develop innovations in wood construction, which will benefit future buildings on the site and other projects in the canton of Fribourg.