The wood panels making homes greener

The energy transition isn’t just about switching to renewables. While promoting green energy sources is obviously a major challenge, managing our energy use is one that shouldn’t be underestimated. This is borne out by the European Union’s commitment to improve its energy efficiency by 20 per cent by 2020 – starting with its housing stock, which alone is responsible for 40 per cent of total energy use and more than a third of CO2 emissions. Hence the need to explore new materials like Panoblocs, which the French company Techniwood has spent five years developing.Formed of slats of wood and with built-in insulation, the prefabricated panels offer thermal efficiency at hitherto unheard-of levels, retaining up to 30 per cent more heat Formed of slats of wood and with built-in insulation, the prefabricated panels offer thermal efficiency at hitherto unheard-of levels, retaining up to 30 per cent more heat than traditional materials, and can remove thermal bridges (areas where there are gaps in insulation). They are also waterproof, make minimal use of raw materials, and boast incredible mechanical resistance. Eco-design
Designed both for upgrading existing stock and for use in new housing and industrial buildings, the wood panels can also be fitted into concrete slabs, encouraging a mixture of materials. These assets are testament to the project’s eco-design, an aspect that was integrated right from the start.In our time of increased energy efficiency, the 2014 investment in Techniwood by the dedicated clean tech Electranova Capital fund, in which the EDF Group is a partner, seems a sound decision. “The project led by Techniwood aligns perfectly with both energy efficiency and low-carbon economy ambitions, both on a French and European scale,” stresses Nicolas Chaudron, partner at the fund. Based in Haute-Savoie in the French Alps on the former premises of ski manufacturer Salomon, the young company is aiming to supply nearly 200,000 m2 of panels a year and seeking to broaden its customer base, which already includes prestigious French companies such as Bouygues Construction and Eiffage.To go furtherThe multi-energy house that’s like a Swiss army knifeSilica aerogel: a solid cloud of insulation

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