CREE modular wood prefab system is revolutionizing multi-storey construction in North America

Over the past few years new wood products have been developed in Europe that are able to replace concrete as the main structural material for large buildings such as highrises or office buildings, at the same time improving the energy performance, reducing the carbon footprint and construction time significantly. Most wooden buildings here in North America still use the same outdated and wasteful construction methods from back in the 80’s.

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Life Cycle tower One (LCT One) in Dornbirn, Austria, which was constructed by CREE Rhomberg last year using their in-house developed wood hybrid modular system. Considered one of the most innovative new products on the market, it is now available and has manufacturing set up right here in North America – this is how it works: (Click on the image)

Timelapse Video LCT One

Timelapse Video LCT One

The CREE system, which stands for “Creative Resource and Energy Efficiency”, is adaptable to multi-residential, commercial and institutional construction between 3 and 30 storeys. Now that it uses wood is awesome but it’s even more exciting for us that it is able to achieve the stringent Passive House Building Energy Standard – and that makes this product unique.

CREE Prefab Panels

CREE Prefab Wood Hybrid Panels

THE Vision in short (by CREE)

We build in wood. 

Nature supplies us with the building material of the future that offers all the characteristics demanded by innovative urban architecture: wood. It is naturally resistant, of high structural quality and has indeed the very best fire prevention properties, which makes it perfectly suited for system building and prefabrication of complete building sections.

LCT One Work environment

LCT One Work environment

THE characteristics (by CREE):

Our building system is characterized by:
- a reduction of complexity on building site
- a short time for planning/design (library of system components)
- less than a half time of construction period to comparable building
- high level of quality standard by controlled pre-fabrication
- high level of security regarding costs (fixed price)
- minimized consumption of resources (optimal using of material)
- numerous usages
- an easy conversion for utilization (office, hotel, residential, restaurant, retail).

CREE LC Hotel Concept

CREE LC Apartment Concept

CREE LC Hotel Concept

CREE LC Hotel Concept

CREE LC HIghrise Concept

CREE LC Highrise Concept

THE advantages:

–        Fast Assembly reducing construction time – Example LCT tower: 8 storeys in 8 days

–        30% lighter than steel concrete

–        Very cost competitive

–        Reduces carbon footprint significantly

–        Uses sustainable, renewable materials

–        Reduced life cycle costs

–        High level of quality and durability

–        Integrates building services into the prefab system

–        Excellent indoor climate – for work or living

–        Comes fully engineered

–        Manufacturing set up in Canada

–        And much more

CREE LCT One Interior

CREE LCT One Interior

CREE LCT One Interior

CREE LCT One Interior

At my visit I was impressed with the gorgeous wood interior and unmatched quality of workmanship making the Life Cycle Tower One an inspiring and comfortable place to work-no sick days here….. Also neat: Employees at the LCT One are growing their own vegetables to take home (but you have to replant what you take) – CREE Urban Farming Boxes:

Cree Urban Farming Box

Cree Urban Farming Box

You can find more images of the different CREE projects here.

THE next step on our end: 

Marken Projects is part of a design team proposing a mixed use wood highrise designed to Passive House standard using the CREE system. You can read more about this in the upcoming weeks here on our blog and on our webpage

If you are a developer or builder interested to learn more about the CREE system and how it could improve your project, our integrated design team has the expertise and resources to help you.

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