Tallest ever ‘eco’ wooden building opens in France

The tallest apartment building ever to be made almost entirely of wood in France has opened in Strasbourg, aiming to show the eco-friendliness of the construction method.

12 June 2019
The building is intended to be an example of almost 100% wooden construction methods
By Connexion journalist

Standing at 38 metres and 11 storeys high, the building is the tallest wooden tower in the country. Located in Strasbourg, in the Deux-Rives district, it was opened officially this week, on Tuesday June 11.

Emmanuelle Wargon, secretary of State for the ecology minister, who was present at the opening, said: “We need exemplary projects in this country. This is proof that construction in wood is possible. The idea is to show an example. It is always difficult for the first buildings to get off the ground, but I hope that this method will one day become normal.”

The development is made up of three buildings in total, and is officially named “Sensations”.

The first inhabitants are set to move into the site’s 146 apartments from “next week”, estate agents Bouygues Immobilier said. Some apartments are still available, at an average cost of 3,600 per m2.

Philippe Michel, regional technical director at Bouygues Immobilier, said: “We are selling at market value here, we have not sold them for a higher price just because they are made out of wood.

“People would not be happy to pay more for the extra cost of the work, which we estimate was 20% more expensive compared to more traditional construction methods.”

The shortfall in price has been made up by the State, as part of its future investment scheme, le Programme d’Investissements d’Avenir (PIA).

Ms Wargon concluded: “This is a technical feat, but it also appears very pleasant to live in. The energy transition is real: we’re on it.”

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Get news, views and information from France