Living Lab Circular Timber Cluster Borderland

Timber cluster Borderland aims to make timber's lifespan as long as possible

Wood is a renewable resource that stores CO2 from the environment as it grows. At the end of its life, through combustion or degradation, wood will release the stored CO2 back into the atmosphere. Today, however, too many wood residues are used as energy sources too soon, releasing the stored CO2 back too soon. This applies both to wood residues from the production phase and to products after an (initial) use phase.

The higher goal of this Living Lab is to make the lifespan of wood and wooden products as long as possible - across different product cycles - and at least equal to the growth duration of quality wood (80 to 120 years). To achieve this goal, the following bottlenecks need to be addressed:

  • use wood more sustainably during use phase and use it as high-quality as possible afterwards;
  • increase cooperation between companies.

By applying more sustainable product development, cascading and working in a circular way with wood products and wood residues from production, the lifespan of wood and the period over which CO2 is stored can be extended. In this living lab, the partners want to investigate how to make three wood applications circular. The focus here is on flooring, facade and terrace cladding furniture.

This Living Lab wants to look at circularity more broadly than at the level of the individual manufacturing company and will work at the ecosystem level at the same time. Wood residues or recycled materials may be used as raw materials by other companies or developed into new products after a usage phase. The partners figure out what preconditions need to be met to start a business-to-business collaboration. In the initial phase, the collaboration will start within the Grensland business park, with the aim of subsequently scaling up to the entire wood sector in Flanders.

In Living Lab Circular Wood Cluster Grensland, companies, knowledge institutions and government work together in a triple helix constellation. First and foremost, the partners focus on the (re)use of wood in the best possible application. In addition, they want to test and learn how material circularity can be promoted within the ecosystem of a business park.

This circular approach will support the other manufacturing companies on the business park and the wood sector in the rest of Flanders in the transition to a circular economy. This Living Lab is a collaboration between Houtbuigerij G. Desmet, DETAFORM, Platform Grensland Menen-Wervik, Woodstoxx, POM West Flanders, Group De Keyzer and Decospan.

Technisch Centrum der Houtnijverheid

Partners Houtbuigerij G. Desmet, DETAFORM, Platform Grensland Menen-Wervik, Woodstoxx, POM West-Vlaanderen, Group De Keyzer en Decospan.