"Building with Wood": great interest shown by a fast-growing industry

Sep 17, 2018

Great participation by industry professionals and companies at the “Building with Wood” conference, organised on 12 September in the Sala dei Giuristi, Palazzo della Ragione, Bergamo, as part of the “Wood: From Nature to Things” event. Wood, with its extraordinary potential, combined with the drive to promote the culture of its use, provided the motivations for organising this event, running through 23 September in partnership with SCM, which with its decades-long wood-working experience can well understand the real needs of all companies involved in transforming this extraordinary raw material into products.

The high and sustained growth rate of the use of wood, especially of X-lam (CLT) products, in construction, was a central and common theme during the Bergamo conference. It was introduced by Luca Bergantini, SCM Group Regional Manager, who described the company’s growth in Italy and Europe as well as the values that have guided it since its establishment back in 1952 and helped make it a leading producer of woodworking machinery. He was followed by Professor Guido Callegari of the Department of Architecture and Design at the Turin Politecnico, and Albin Siegert, SCM Process Engineer – Housing. One of the main event promoters was Alberto Candellero, owner of Candellero Parquets.

The growing popularity of wooden buildings is a positive trend observed in various countries throughout the world. The reasons for this wooden housing market upsurge are quite known, from the earthquake-resistant qualities of such buildings to their unparalleled beauty, environmental sustainability, safety and moderate pricing. And one should not forget that the fact that wooden buildings are more popular these days is also due to the great technological developments in this sector, developments in which SCM has invested heavily and continues to invest, offering the market the benefits of its decades-long experience in developing latest-generation, flexible and integrated production line solutions and numerically-controlled machining centres for processing CLT panels and other housing wood products.

Indeed, the use of CLT panels is constantly growing in Italy and Europe. Considering that a single house requires about 50m3 of CLT panels, the current production rate in Europe would allow the construction of some 15,000 houses a year. As Albin Siegert illustrated, the market potential for CLT is huge: only about 15% of all European buildings are made of wood, of which 90% use timber-frame technology. And the positive trend of increased CLT panel production is not limited to Europe alone. A growing number of wood housing projects is reported to have started in America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, while others are upcoming.

At the conference, Professor Callegari described the new promising scenarios for our industry, but also focused on the new Master's Degree Courses in Wood Construction at the Turin Politecnico, scheduled to start this very year in partnership with SCM. The goal of these courses is to prepare and train people to fill professional roles with skill and knowledge to satisfy the current market needs. The training programme will include a 250-hour internship at partner companies in order to allow students to, among other, experience first-hand the latest technological innovation trends through lab work with CNC machines.