The weekly magazine Euro published an interview with Martin Skalický, the chairman of our consulting team. He focused not only on the topic of sustainable development, the importance of which is gradually being realized by large and smaller developers. The discussion also focused on the wooden buildings from our RD Rýmařov plant and their essential benefits in times of energy crisis. Cooperative and rental housing, which we also count on in our development projects, was not neglected.
Timber buildings are currently setting a clear direction for sustainable construction. Their popularity is growing year on year. Every sixth house in the Czech Republic is made of wood. Our production plant RD Rýmařov, which has completed over 26,000 buildings during its existence, is also trying to increase this share.
“Wood is a fully renewable material, it creates a healthy and pleasant environment to live and work in, and it also binds a huge amount of CO2,” Martin mentions in the interview one of the key benefits of wooden buildings. RD Rýmařov houses are a sought-after housing solution not only because of their climate neutrality, but also because of their speed of construction and energy efficiency. Heat pumps and photovoltaics are their basic equipment.
A wooden building is not a log cabin
In the interview, Martin also debunks one of the myths associated with wooden buildings. “A wooden building is not a log cabin. Nowadays, you often don’t recognise the material in a modern wooden building unless it is deliberately admitted. We should more accurately refer to a timber building as a composite building, because of course it is not just timber that is used, however much it remains a load-bearing material,” he explains.
Wood rises higher
Wood is not only being used as a building material in apartment or family houses. In recent years, high-rise buildings using wood have also been built abroad. Our goal is to build such a building in the Czech Republic as well. “The dream of the Progresus Group is a wooden skyscraper. The current Czech laws do not allow it, but for example in Vienna there is already one such building,” adds Martin, adding that wood can only be used to build up to four storeys in the Czech Republic. However, Austria also had to go through a change in regulations. We believe that this will soon happen here too and we will be able to build higher.
How is the energy crisis affecting the construction market?
Martin also addresses this question in the interview. He mentions, for example, the concrete steps we have taken at our RD Rýmařov production plant to reduce our dependence on gas and electricity. “The investment in our own solar power plant was crucial,” he says.
High mortgage rates currently make it impossible for many people to afford their own home. In the interview, Martin mentions possible solutions. He mentions cooperative housing as an alternative to personal ownership, which our development projects would like to offer. “At this time of a turbulent mortgage market, it is a way for clients who cannot afford a mortgage. You pay off the co-operative share gradually, the debt is precisely defined in front of you, but you don’t have to worry about the amount of the payment changing due to the ending fixation as with a mortgage,” explains Martin.
How is the role of developers changing these days?
In the interview, Martin also systematically discusses the current changes in the field of property development. Increasingly, ESG obligations are starting to factor in, which both smaller and larger developers are becoming aware of.
“It’s no longer a case of build it and leave, but an intensive search for social consensus with local councillors, citizens etc. The role of the developer is shifting and expanding. It is primarily about providing a comprehensive service to clients and the community, whether it is commercial property or residential. As a developer you have obligations to the community and the environment,” says Martin. This is something we at Progresus are also aware of. In our development projects, we envisage rich community life, amenities and sustainable construction that uses wood.