The 2,150m² school, designed by forma6, was constructed by making use of Stora Enso’s prefabricated kit of parts – Sylva. For the first time ever, these parts were automatically pre-coated with hydrophobic protection against moisture in the new fully automated production line at the Stora Enso mill in Ybbs, Austria, that has been up and running since the beginning of this year. Coatings are applied as part of the prefabrication of the components and help streamline on-site construction, protect the mass timber elements as well as increase the speed of the project. A shorter installation time – an advantage for mass timber elements in general – meant less noise pollution and traffic in and around the school area.

The school’s façade is designed with recycled materials and certified bio-based wood fibre insulation in addition to sustainable and reusable wood. In the space developed using Sylva CLT floors, roofs and walls a total of 230 students will be attending classes, spread across two levels. The building features excellent indoor air quality, biophilic design, and high acoustic performance, all contributing to an excellent learning environment for both children and teachers. 

“For the construction of the Bourdonnières school we were working on a very tight timeframe and had several constraints at the site itself,” said Kim Ekberg, product manager at Stora Enso. “For example, we knew that we would have to leave the elements exposed on-site for a period of time, which can be a risk due to the weather. Our hydrophobic coating from our new coating line combats this risk by protecting the wood from absorbing moisture and making it easier to keep the surfaces clean from dirt.”

This first project completion follows Stora Enso’s initial investment of €9m in 2022 to develop this new state-of-the-art automated coating line at the Ybbs sawmill in Austria, which continues to serve the global market. The line offers coatings to protect Sylva CLT elements from moisture, UV damage and / or insects and additionally allows for a visually enhanced surface with several grades of white. The industrial application delivers shorter construction times as well as improved quality through prefabrication and quality control.