Kempten – The first wooden high-rise in the Allgäu should be ready for occupancy in October. From September to December the shell was raised with seven floors, said the managing director of the Sozialbau GmbH in Kempten, Herbert Singer. “As for the shell, the house is ready.”
21 apartments are being built in the building in the Thingers district of Kempten. As the client, Sozialbau GmbH has budgeted six million euros for this. According to the company, the building shell is made of wood, except for the foundation and staircase, which was felled and worked on in the Allgäu forests.
This improves the climate balance, but is also more expensive than conventional building, says Sozialbau managing director Singer. “It is around ten percent more expensive than a normal building of this type.” The aim of the project is to show that timber construction is also possible in this dimension for municipal housing companies. Timber construction in Germany could develop further and become cheaper.
Wood as a building material is more in demand than ever. According to information from Holzbau Deutschland, a specialist group in the Central Association of the German Building Industry, the timber construction quota for residential buildings has climbed from 15.1 percent in 2014 to 18.7 percent in 2019.
Even if high-rise buildings made of wood are still rare in Germany, the building in Kempten lags behind other projects, at least in terms of size. In 2011, an eight-story wooden house was built in Bad Aibling, Upper Bavaria, which was initially considered the tallest of its kind in Germany.
In 2019 it was replaced by the ten-story Skaio in Heilbronn. The next record holder could in future be in Hamburg, where the 19-storey wooden high-rise “Roots” is set to grow 65 meters in height over the next few years.
There are no such ambitions in the Allgäu, says Sozialbau managing director Singer. “But we can give the clear signal: timber construction is possible for Kempten at any height.