Wood as a building material of the future – a Düsseldorf example

On an undeveloped plot of land in Düsseldorf's Media Harbour, a modern office building is to be constructed using the wood-hybrid building system. This process replaces many of the components that are usually built with reinforced concrete by timber. The interior quality will involve high comfort standards and post-corona aspects will already be taken into account.


“With the expansion of the Silvers in Düsseldorf, we are building today the way that will be built in the future. Wood as a building material will once again become increasingly important from a sustainability perspective.”

Thomas Sonnenwald, Head of Project & Development Management Europe North/West


„Nachhaltigkeit bedeutet, an vielen Details zu arbeiten. In Göttingen ist es uns gelungen, gemeinsam mit lokalen Partnern und smarter Technik den Energie- und CO2-Fußabdruckes deutlich zu reduzieren.“ 

Stefan Leyrer, Leiter Immobilienmanagement Retail bei Deka Immobilien


Wood as a sustainable material choice

When planning and constructing modern buildings, the manufacturing processes of the building materials are increasingly being taken into consideration. Not only the transport route and the availability of a material are important, but also the energy required to produce the material and the emissions caused in the process. In specialist circles, this is also known as “embodied carbon” or “grey energy”. In addition to the actual construction qualities of a material, the environmental impact of production, transport, dismantling and disposal is also a decision criterion for a sustainable choice of material. For example, the entire cement industry causes about 8% of the greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. This is making the construction and real estate industry rethink the use of a wide range of building materials. At Deka Immobilien, for one of our own new construction projects, this has prompted us to start building today in a way that we will see much more often in the future.

Expansion in Düsseldorf

In Düsseldorf, not far from the Media Harbour and the North Rhine-Westphalian Parliament, one of our plots offers a buildable area which will be developed into a modern office building in wood-hybrid construction with approx. 10,000 m² of usable floor space. The new building will be a direct neighbour to our Silvers building, which has already been renovated according to sustainability criteria.

The concept of wood-hybrid construction provides that the building’s load-bearing supports will be made of wood and not of concrete. The ceilings in this type of construction also consist of prefabricated wooden modules. These modules are then grouted with a layer of concrete on top to form the actual unfinished floor. Not only will the building method save greenhouse gas emissions over its entire life cycle, the on-site construction method will also shorten the construction time by about seven months. The shorter construction period and the modular construction also reduce the impact of the construction site for the entire neighbourhood. It will be built in less time and with significantly lower noise and dust emissions.

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Illustration interior - wooden components in the interior create a warm and friendly working atmosphere.

Interior comfort under post-corona aspects

In addition, the natural building material contributes to a permanently healthy indoor climate and thus a high well-being for the users. Post-corona aspects are already taken into account in the interior quality, so that the ventilation technology and the indoor climate will meet a high standard. The materials used are selected to be as free of pollutants as possible. This process is supported by a concept based on the cradle-to-cradle principle, according to which materials are used in cycles and recycled or reused.

At this location, we at Deka Immobilien are already choosing tomorrow's construction technology paths today:

This hybrid construction method with a high proportion of wood enables significant CO2 savings of up to 80 per cent per square metre of floor space. According to our calculations, the planned wood-hybrid building in Düsseldorf emits around 2,400 tonnes less carbon dioxide than a conventional building.

SDGs Sustainable Development Goals der Vereinten Nationen

Die 17 SDGs bilden mit ihren 169 Unterzielen den Kern der Agenda für eine nachhaltige
Entwicklung bis 2030. Die Ziele wurden 2015 von allen UNO-Mitgliedstaaten verabschiedet
und berücksichtigen die wirtschaftliche, soziale und ökologische Dimension einer
nachhaltigen Entwicklung. Die globale Partnerschaft aller Länder sowie der Beitrag des
Privatsektors und nicht-staatlicher Organisationen sind für das Erreichen der SDGs entscheidend.

Implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

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11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

Inner-city redensification and thus use of urban resources.
Further development of the dynamic district of Düsseldorf's Media Harbour.

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3 Good Health and Well-being

The building services concept already takes into account post-corona requirements
through higher air exchange rates and increased demands on the indoor climate.
In addition, pollutant-free and very low-polluting materials are used in the interior construction.

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12 Responsible Consumption and Production

The fundamental decision for a wood-hybrid building method and the conceptual
support according to the cradle-to-cradle principle address this SDG.

Further insights into practice