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Lenzburg to get most swiftly constructed wooden house

A sustainable apartment building is to be built in Lenzburg out of wood in the space of just five months. This has been made possible thanks to a new hybrid constriction method, which AXA, Renggli AG and the Bern University of Applied Sciences have developed and plan to apply.

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Image credit: Axa

According to an AXA press release, this newbuild will be the most swiftly constructed wooden apartment building in Switzerland. Axa and project partners Renggli AG and the Bern University of Applied Sciences plan to complete the house in just five months. To achieve this, they are applying an innovative high-performance hybrid constriction system.

In this new method, the apartments are entirely prefabricated as room modules, with bathrooms, kitchens, doors, windows and even surfaces already installed as well as the pipework for building services. This phase will be handled by Renggli AG, a company based in Schötz LU that specializes in timber construction. At the same time, the foundations will be laid in Lenzburg and a steel structure erected. The prefabricated modules will subsequently be delivered on flatbed lorries and assembled in position in the space of just a few hours. In this step, the modules simply need to be inserted into the steel frame, connected together and with the building services infrastructure.

“This new construction system is a step towards Manufacturing 4.0 in the construction industry,” comments Roman Hausammann from the Institute for Timber Construction, Structures and Architecture at the Bern University of Applied Sciences. This new method not only allows apartments to be constructed more quickly: “The prefabrication, standardization of apartments and resultant scaling options will enable cost per apartment to be significantly reduced in future,” explains Max Renggli, CEO of Renggli AG. This will ultimately trickle down to lower rents.

The apartment building in Lenzburg is also impressive in aspects relating to sustainability. It is being constructed according to building standard Minergie-A. A photovoltaic system generates electricity to enable the pooling together for private consumption and the heating system uses a ground source heat pump to transfer renewable heat to or from the ground. The apartment building in Lenzburg is being built on the former site of an AXA property. This is a pilot project and will serve as a template for other projects going forward.

The hybrid construction system was developed in the course of an innovation project run  by Innosuisse. “The collaboration between the Bern University of Applied Sciences, Swiss SMEs and AXA in the context of the Innosuisse project demonstrates the innovative force of Switzerland and strengthens our country’s position in business,” concludes Roman Hausammann.

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