Wood construction and climate change mitigation

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Purpose of the project

Altarea Cogedim innovates in its activities and is constantly looking for new shopping experiences. The Group recently opened the first French retail park built entirely by wood. This project tends to prove that responsible shopping is compatible with high quality design and improved experience for customers. In addition, Altarea Cogedim, as a founding member of the Association for the Development of Low Carbon Building (Association BBCA), intends to promote wood construction as a way to mitigate climate change.



For the design of this project, two options were run in parallel : classical steel frame and wood construction. The pros and cons of both solutions were analyzed through different studies:
- A Life Cycle Analysis. The impact of each solution was assessed with regard to energy consumption, climate change, water consumption, waste, ozone depletion, resource use.
- A Life Cycle Cost Analysis. The overall cost of the project was assessed over 40 years. The analysis took into account conception, construction, operation, maintenance and end-of-life costs.
- A carbon assessment. The carbon impact took into account conception, construction and end-of-life impact.
- In addition, the impact of both solutions were also assessed on the BREEAM certification.



While the wood construction turned out to be 6% more expensive over a 40 years period, it demonstrated a serious advantage in terms of environmental impact. :
- The carbon impact of the wood solution is 30% lower than that of a classic shopping center.
- 715 tons of carbon is saved (carbon sink effect) by wood construction (the equivalent of circumnavigating the world 155 times by car)
- Wood is coming from PEFC certified forests, ensuring sustainable management of forestry
- Wood panels are prefabricated, which is also beneficial in terms of environmental impact
Therefore, Altarea Cogedim partnered with Woodeum, a leading company in the field of wood material, that distributes Cross-Laminated Timber, in order to build the project.To share this experiment and the benefits offered by wood construction, this project has recently been chosen as a pilot project for the labelling of low carbon constructions.


“Low carbon construction is one of Altarea Cogedim’s top priorities. By developing the first French retail park built entirely by wood, the group proved that wood construction is compatible with high quality design and improved customer experience.”