The vice-rector of Academic Organisation and Lugo Campus of the USC, Francisco Fraga; the director of the EPS of Engineering, Rosa Romero; the coordinator of the Plataforma de Ingeniería de Madera Estructural (Pemade), Manuel Guaita, and the director of the Galician Agency of the Forest Industry (XERA), Jacobo Aboal, close the project LIFE EcoTimberCell that promotes sustainable construction in wood and with low carbon footprint.
LIFE EcoTimberCell encourages modular wood construction by promoting the replacement of construction products with high embodied energy, such as concrete or steel, by others with a low carbon footprint, such as wood, through the development of the EcoTimberCell systems. This innovative alternative allows, at the same time, to fix carbon in the long term through the use of wood and its derivatives, as the coordinator of Pemade, USC professor Manuel Guaita, emphasised at the closing session of this LIFE programme at the Polytechnic School of Engineering of the Terra Campus, an event in which the director of the university centre in Lugo, Rosa Romero, also participated; the vice-rector of Academic Organisation and Campus of Lugo, Francisco Fraga, and the director of the Galician Forest Industry Agency (GENERA), Jacobo Aboal.
The future of building is modular, said Professor Guaita, and then added that the lightened structural products developed within the framework of this LIFE, such as ETC cells for beams and girders, ETC for slabs or ETC Frame for walls bring new prefabricated systems with which a building can be built. These new products, added the coordinator of Pemade, are based on certified Galician wood and are composed of pieces of sawn timber and ecological hard fibre board manufactured by the company Betanzos HB, which use natural lignin as the only binder, so no other type of adhesive is required.
The director of XERA, an entity that in 2019 signed an agreement with the USC for an overall amount of 400,000 euros to promote wood in construction and enhance the value of local species, at the same time highlighted the clear commitment to the sustainability of the Galician forest that represents this LIFE programme, which, among other achievements, allows the transformation of biomass into long-term carbon reserves. In his speech, Jacobo Aboal also highlighted the value of the new EcoTimberCell systems made from wood obtained from the forests of the Galicia-North Portugal Euroregion, given that these are ecological structural systems which, in addition to adding value to the forest, save energy and reduce energy demand in the use of buildings, as well as reducing the waste generated in the building process. In fact, said Aboal, the EcoTimberCell systems allow material savings of 85% compared to traditional solid wood beams.
The closing session of LIFE EcoTimberCell, an initiative within the European Union's Climate Action and Climate Change Mitigation sub-programme, was also attended by representatives of all the partners involved in this programme, including the environmental engineering company 3edata, the Forestry and Wood Technology Centre Foundation (Cetemas), the Institute of Construction Technology of Catalonia (ITeC) and the company Betanzos HB.
The coordinator of LIFE EcoTimberCell and also of Pemade, Manuel Guaita, reiterated his thanks to all the collaborating partners in a project with a budget of more than 2 million euros, 59% of which is funded by the European Commission, He also predicted the best future for the company Timbersoul by Cándido Hermida, the spin-off created within the framework of this project with the Cándido Hermida group (main partner), which will be in charge of all the technical aspects and the future manufacturing and marketing of the products.