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New hybrid element developed by Heidelberg Materials Precast Contiga and Metsä Wood

New hybrid element developed by Heidelberg Materials Precast Contiga and Metsä Wood

SWEDEN — Heidelberg Materials Precast Contiga, a Swedish concrete manufacturer, and Metsä Wood, a Finnish producer of engineered wood products, have initiated a cross-industry collaboration to capitalize on the benefits of combining concrete and wood in future building structures with the goal to develop and launch a hybrid element with a low carbon footprint.

The result when combining climate-improved concrete with wood is a new type of building element with high strength and durability as well as a lower weight and carbon footprint. The hybrid element will have an estimated 70 per cent lower climate impact.

The hybrid element is a so-called “sandwich element” that will be well suited to facade walls with high resistance to weather and wind. It is constructed with Metsä Wood’s Kerto LVL Q-panel as a load-bearing core panel and with an external panel of Heidelberg Materials climate-improved concrete.

At the production facility in Norrtälje, a prototype of the hybrid element has been developed and smaller hybrid elements have been test cast to verify the manufacturing technology. The next step is to construct a realistic test building to evaluate different designs and how the hybrid element is responding when exposed to moisture and various forces.

“By developing a hybrid element, we want to see how the different technical properties of wood and concrete can work together to support each other in building structures. Our joint development work is a step forward to find new ways for the construction industry to continue building in a sustainable way and with an even lower climate footprint,” said Jussi Björman, business director, construction at Metsä Wood, in a statement.

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