Woodcube, a five-story apartment building located in Hamburg, is novel not just for its use of wooden construction in a five-story building.
Designer Matthias Korff also planned for the building to be constructed without the use of any chemical treatments including glues or sealants. The building also claims 'climate neutral' status.
The eight apartments in the Woodcube are constructed mostly of wood, with some aluminum for the window casings, and a cement tower for the elevator. But the ceilings, floors, and outer walls are all thick wooden construction. In fact, 32 centimeters (approximately one foot thick).
In the interior of the building a massive wooden staircase used no glue or other adhesives. And no extra insulation was used in the walls - instead inch-thick pressed-wood boards form the inner insulation layer.
While the Woodcube has not tried to garner Passive House certification, Korff says it performs like a passive house, but with better ventilation, as the untreated wood 'breathes'. A rooftop solar system generates electricity for household and appliance use, but the house is heated with heat recovery and an exchanger.
Korff and his family are living in one of the eight Woodcube apartments to better understand how the house performs and what improvements can be made to his all-wood design. The house exterior will not be treated with stain but will be allowed to weather.