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BPI and CFE bank on wood

A new real estate development company, constituting a joint venture by two of Belgium’s most experienced players, has just been announced. BPI Real Estate and CFE Contracting have today announced the launch of Wood Shapers, a name which gives a clue as to the main focus of the company.

With environmental concerns moving higher up the agenda of all industries, and the real estate industry in particular, reducing carbon emissions has become a priority criterion for boardrooms, owners and occupants alike. BPI and CFE point out that the building sector represents 38% of total CO2 emissions, and that it is the objective of Wood Shapers to develop vast construction projects in which wood is the primary material. The company will be involved in every stage of a project from conception to delivery, including the pre-fabrication of wooden elements. Wood, the company explains, is the only material to absorb CO2. There is more to this simple statement than meets the eye, however: trees absorb CO2 until they reach maturity, and then they gradually release it; cutting the trees at exactly the right moment (and planting replacements) is therefore vital.

There is a further advantage in terms of timing. The CEO of Wood Shapers, Arnaud Regout (photo), explains: “All of the elements are pre-fabricated. This principle facilitates the construction process itself, enabling a 20% reduction in the time taken. This leads to a quicker return on investment and to a reduced amount of nuisance to neighbours caused by the worksite.”

He goes on to point out that the principle can be used for renovation too, and that thanks to wood being 40% lighter than concrete, floors can even be added to existing buildings.
Tim Harrup

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