VALENS (Eiffage Benelux) achieves a first in social housing by installing wooden modular houses

29.04.2021
VALENS (Eiffage Benelux) achieves a first in social housing by installing wooden modular houses

Our Belgian teams are proud of this: on 19 April, VALENS, together with subcontractor Lamcol, took care of the installation of a prefabricated residential module in the Cité Modèle in Laeken, a municipality north of Brussels. This is the second building in a series of three with a total of 20 quality homes. VALENS, a subsidiary of Eiffage Benelux, is the first company in Belgium to apply this prefabricated wood technique in social housing.

The three buildings, designed by the Bureau d'Études et Architectures Urbaines (BEAU), are made up of high quality prefabricated wooden modules assembled in the factory and pre-equipped with special techniques by VALENS. Thanks to this off-site manufacturing :

  •     our teams are not dependent on weather conditions,
  •     the modules can be assembled quickly with a construction time reduced by almost half,
  •     the nuisance on construction site and the carbon footprint of truck transport are reduced.

The 'design & build' project, carried out for the Brussels-Capital Region Housing Company, integrates two timber structure systems. On the one hand, these are prefabricated 3D modules made of CLT (cross-laminated timber panels) and, on the other hand, 2D frames made of timber frameworks.

The major challenge of this project was the preparation. Everything had to be well thought out in advance so that the prefabrication and coordination between the factory and the construction site were perfectly in phase. Work started in November 2020 and will be completed by the end of 2021.

This prefabrication and the use of wood echo the various initiatives taken by Eiffage Construction, of which VALENS is a subsidiary, to develop wood construction in France and in the European countries in which we are present. For example, in 2019 we acquired Savare, a company with expertise in wood construction and off-site construction, to develop our know-how in the dry sector and offer our customers an alternative to concrete.

Pierre Wéry, Managing Director of VALENS, expressed the teams' pride in participating in a project that is part of the Eiffage Group's ambitious environmental approach:
"This very ambitious project is remarkable on several levels: it exactly meets VALENS' and Eiffage's ambitions in the field of low-carbon projects, and then it successfully pursues circular economy objectives since the materials used as well as the concept will allow for recycling (mainly wood), a theme dear to VALENS, which has already won the Be Circular award previously! "

Congratulations to our teams for this emblematic achievement!