Living in a house or flat mainly made of wood or prefabricated is still a rarity in Catalonia. But judging by the trends that are perceived in the Construmat show, dedicated to construction, in a few years it will be much more common. In fact, this trend is already a more consolidated reality in other European countries.
“The show shows a more sustainable and efficient way of building. Society demands it”, comments the president of Construmat, Xavier Vilajoana. He relates that another trend, the construction of prefabricated homes that are carried out in factories and not on the ground as is traditionally done, helps to "incorporate young and female talent" into the sector. "Each project has a specific solution," remarks the president of Construmat, which will end this Friday.
At the fair for professionals that takes place at the Gran Via de Fira venue in l'Hospitalet de Llobregat there are several firms that exhibit solutions with wood. “Our sector is experiencing an expected and logical emergency. Building with wood is not uncommon in other countries. It is more sustainable and healthy”, says Salvador Ordoñez, director of World Wood Future, a company specialized in doing all kinds of work with this material.
"Wood has not come to replace other materials, but to dialogue with them," he considers. According to Ordoñez, there is now a certain contradiction: "We have wood, the necessary resources, but we do not have the industry to meet the growing demand." That is why the element is sought in other countries such as France and Finland, among others.
Sebastia is "the only Catalan company that builds with wood from the Pyrenees," says its commercial director, Sergi Sebastia. They deal with the whole cycle: they cut down, manipulate and create with this material. "We do sustainable forest management," he stresses. According to Sergi Sebastia, "it is not true that in Catalonia we do not have quality wood".
The other booming aspect is prefabricated houses. That is to say, that they are carried out in factories and not on site as has been done all their lives. Then they settle. "In a factory you control everything, you don't improvise," defends Montse Pujol, CEO of PMP, a company with years of experience in this field.
“As you buy in bulk, you get better prices. In addition, the construction is done in half the time, ”he adds. “We started in 2006 and until 2018 the progression was slow. From then until now it has exploded”, concludes Pujol who, however, acknowledges that this method today occupies a very small percentage of the market.
Another area that is being promoted is home renovation, with an injection of 3,400 million euros of Next Generation European funds until 2026. At Construmat there are sections that explain how to take advantage of this opportunity. "Now it's much easier, the construction solutions have been adapted," says Eva Bonet, coordinator of the technical rehabilitation office of the Consell de l'Arquitectura Técnica de Catalunya.