The new German Housing 4.0 Energy pilot shall explore how to build modular, low carbon homes to reduce building costs and carbon emissions in the German context. Led by Thoma, the new German pilot site, also based in Baden-Württemberg, takes the place of that originally planned to be built in Schwäbisch Gmünd.
The new H4.0E partner, Thoma, is specialised in working with real timber, which is mechanically bonded and free of toxic chemicals. Therefore, the material can be used again and again—a true circular product that produces no waste for future generations—and is able to heat and cool houses of all sizes all year round using only the sun, thanks to the excellent structural-physical values of the wood envelope. Real timber construction is transforming the building industry: it’s more stable, sustainable, durable, fireproof, earthquake-proof and quiet than mainstream-built houses, thanks to major technical developments in the last 20 years.
The new German Housing 4.0 Energy pilot shall make the case for affordable, low carbon homes in Germany. But what makes this pilot so special?
Modular system construction
The new German pilot will contain a modular system prototype will be a basis for planning and constructing buildings in system construction with reproducible components, maximised design freedom and a high degree of prefabrication ex works. Therefore, planning reliability will be significantly increased, execution and implementation will be facilitated and the costs for sustainable timber construction will be significantly reduced.
Self-sufficient building services concept
In real timber construction, the heating and cooling load peaks in buildings are massively reduced. With an appropriate design of building services, it is therefore possible to achieve very high levels of self-sufficiency with low investment costs. In the prototype, the combination of the world's first and patented thermal component activation in solid wood construction by Thoma and an adapted and innovative building services system for solar-powered homes.
In order for a renewable material to be recognised as real CO2 storage, the function of the building must be guaranteed for at least 50 years and at the end of the life cycle 50% reuse must be possible on the same usage cascade. Thoma will go further and develop the prototype in such a way that it can be completely dismantled at the end of the project and rebuilt at another location in a different form, enabling closed cycles for entire components and opening up new possibilities for urban mining.