300 tons of wood for Gaverse
assisted living apartments

January 24, 2020

Amanu Invest from Sint-Katelijne-Waver is building 32 assisted-living apartments in Gavere next to the Mariahuis residential care center of the Visitation Group. Residence De Steiger is built in Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), which is solid timber construction (not timber frame construction). The 32 homes of the first phase are spread over four floors above ground, representing some 590 m². With a total supply of rounded 300 tons of wood, Gavere had a wonderful scent of freshly planed wood for a few weeks.

The 32 assisted living apartments in Gavere (each with a spacious terrace and a guest bed) form the first phase of De Steiger.

The construction of the first phase in the Kloosterstraat has now been completed and the finishing work can begin. Once the concrete base plate had hardened sufficiently and the plans were refined, one floor was realized per working week. “The timing for the project in Gavere is tight. We would not have met the deadline with a completely classic construction method ”, says project manager Roel Goethals of Amanu Group. The plans were approved in October. The first timber for the structural work arrived at the beginning of December last year. The building was wind and waterproof just before Christmas.


All CE-labeled solid wood wall and floor panels come by truck from Austria, good for 583 m2 floors and walls and 35 m2 laminated beams and columns. “The preparation was very intensive and comparable to a BIM concept. Architects, contractors and subcontractors worked together with the builder and project developer to arrive at a final digital design of the standardized rooms relatively quickly. All openings and slots for cables or drains are already made in the factory in Austria and everything fits together, so to speak, down to the millimeter. Assembly is simple and smooth. Small corrections or an unexpectedly forgotten trench are usually still possible after installation, but the biggest (thinking) work is done as soon as we give the factory the green light, ”says Roel Goethals.

Photos: © Building Chronicle / Amanu Group

Part of the construction team for the De Steiger residence in Gavere with from l. project coordinator Lukas Hebb and team bass Martin from CLT-S, project leader Serge Vanhaecke from Kaizer and Roel Goethals, project manager for Amanu-Invest.

More and more companies

In Belgium, there are more and more construction sites where CLT is used. “The preparation is more intensive, but the execution speed is very high and the site organization is simpler, because 'construction' is being built 'dry' (without concrete or mortar) during the construction phase. As a contractor, you are therefore not dependent on drying times and less dependent on the weather. Before we started this project in Gavere, we already gained experience with CLT for projects in Duffel and Willebroek. First with only the top floor (penthouse), then with a complete building. We are increasingly convinced of the benefits and this is certainly not our last building in CLT. We initially thought that we could only go to a few architects and engineering firms, contractors and subcontractors, but now we see that more and more companies are joining. We already worked with three different designers for our three CLT projects. For Gavere, that is with B2Ai, ”says the project manager.


“CLT is very flexible and all values you want to achieve in terms of energy performance or acoustics are possible. In terms of height, buildings in CLT have already been built up to 11 floors. Anchoring a staircase or an elevator shaft, such as here in Gavere, is also no problem. CLT makes it even easier to achieve good airtightness. It is also an environmentally friendly material. The wood used in Gavere is a mix of softwood and pine, ”says Roel Goethals.

5 minutes

Thanks to the natural insulating effect of wood and the absence of cold materials, a pleasant and comfortable indoor climate is created. “With wood, some still think of a high fire risk, but solid wood retains its strength for a long time. Commercially, for the saleability of the individual assisted living apartments, the use of CLT is an advantage rather than a disadvantage, ”comments commercial director Nele Verbist of the Amanu Group. The sale of the assisted living apartments is going smoothly, so that the second phase is likely to follow soon. According to the supplier in the Austrian forests, the volume of wood processed in Gavere grows again in 5 minutes (on a beautiful summer day).

The construction team for the wooden shell construction in Gavere consisted of CLT-S from construction group Thys from Oevel and Kaizer from Harelbeke. “We obtain the CLT elements in Austria from Stora Enso. This is the same company as that of the paper mill in Langerbrugge near Ghent. They are one of the largest suppliers of CLT in Europe and for the Belgian market they supply every element to measure, so that no finishing or intermediate steps are required. The finish outside and inside of De Steiger will be classic: outside there will be insulation and a stone against the facade. The roof will be a classic flat roof with a roofing. In the assisted living apartments, you will notice very few things that this block was later built in CLT. ”

Follow us on social media
  • LinkedIn - White Circle
  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle