European firms unveil concrete-timber hybrid walls

The panels are made from layers of concrete, insulation, and load-bearing laminated veneer lumber (Images courtesy of Heidelberg Materials Precast Contiga)
Swedish concrete-element maker Heidelberg Materials Precast Contiga and Finnish company Metsä Wood have developed a wall panel made from layers of concrete, insulation, and load-bearing laminated veneer lumber.

They say the panel has a climate impact between 30% and 50% lower than a traditional concrete sandwich element, and is 60% lighter.

The two companies have been working on the new panel for two years.

Adding the layer of laminated veneer lumber

They say it’s suitable for buildings with up to five floors.

Walls can be made up to 75mm thinner than walls built only with concrete, which allows extra space inside buildings, they add.

They built a small house at Heidelberg’s Norrtälje factory to test the panels’ performance, including for moisture ingress.

Adding the insulation layer

“One of the advantages of this hybrid element is that construction contractors do not have to change their way of building with concrete elements but can still lower their carbon dioxide emissions,” said Håkan Arnebrant, Metsä Wood’s business development manager.

Heidelberg division manager Daniel Eriksson said the panels’ lightness means twice as many of them can be shipped in a delivery.

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  1. Best thing for building structures, needs more engineering to build past 5 floors for skyscrapers.

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