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SILENTWOOD, EU FP7 PROJECT FOR SME ASSOCIATIONS

MULTILAYERED WOOD-BASED DOORS WITH ENHANCED ACOUSTIC INSULATING PROPERTIES FOR DWELLING BUILDINGS, EDUCATIVE AND SANITATION CENTRES

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The Purpose

Carried out during 3 years and recently completed – from the May 2010 to April 2013 –, SILENTWOOD was a project funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme.

The purpose of SILENTWOOD was to allow the European SME manufacturers of wooden products for construction – represented by the SME participants and the members of the participating SME Associations – to comply with existing building regulations at European level while, at the same time, opening them the door to new market opportunities to help them face their current critical situation.  

 

Main results

The SILENTWOOD products, resulting from the 3-year-research project, are price-competitive, certifiable exterior wooden-based door & panel applications with enhanced acoustic performances. These innovative products, which comply with all the international standards (thermal, mechanical, fire-proofing properties), address directly the needs of the collective of door and panel manufacturers.

The developed SILENTWOOD doors feature: 
- Certified acoustic performances above 37dB;
- Certified fire resistance EI30;
- Compliance with the main mechanical and thermal requirements (e.g. European Building codes) for doors dwellings, educational and sanitation premises; 
- Environmental friendly materials; 
- Weight below 90kg; 
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Retail cost below €600.  

 

Next steps

In addition to the preparations for the official launch of the high performance doors and panels under the trademark ECO SILENTWOOD, further development on the fiber composite materials will be performed to achieve a 100% bio-based solution, focusing on low impact on the environment and reduced energy consumption.

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The market

The European woodworking industry includes more than 100,000 companies, employing around 2.7 million workers in the EU-27. The main sub-sectors within this industry are door, panel/board and furniture manufacturing (around 95% of them are Small and medium sized Enterprises). Nowadays, the European manufacturers of wooden products for construction are struggling to survive, being in a complex situation due to 3 main factors:

  • Societal growing awareness on the effects of noiseon health and quality of people’s life, at home, at work, at school and during leisure time. It directly weighs on the construction of private housing and public infrastructures;
  • Strengthening, from the European Union, of the legislation concerning acoustic and noise exposure in construction: This appears via new regulations in the European normative constructions and the national building codes;
  • The current solutions, based on thicker material are too expensive(average €400–2,500/unit, compared to a range of €150–300/unit of house doors, hospital rooms or school classrooms). However, cheaper solutions are available in the US, Australia and China that could threaten the EU market in the coming years.

This situation is even aggravated by the present crisis situation, which is heavily impacting the European construction sector. This critical situation is directly reflected in the continuous loss of market quota and the negative exterior trade rates negative balance between imports and exports is 9%) of the European industry of wooden products for construction, mainly door manufacturers. Besides door manufacturers, panel manufacturing providers are suffering identical issues.

The SILENTWOOD products, with their high acoustic and mechanical performances and their reasonable price, have all the assets for a strong penetration in the medium/high quality door & panel application market.

 

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The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme managed by REA-Research Executive Agency([FP7/2007-2013]) under grant agreement n°FP7-SME-2008-2-243639.