Last Friday, the German Minister for construction, urban development and housing, Klara Geywitz, visited the MOD21 production plant in Ostaszewo, near Toruń. The company produces wooden building modules there, which it sells on the German market.
– Whether in Germany, Poland or any other country, citizens need affordable and habitable housing. This is where modular construction comes in. Companies like MOD21 have spotted the trends at just the right time and are bringing newness to the construction industry with their largely automated and digitised batch production processes – Minister Klara Geywitz remarked.
– These processes allow for shorter planning and production times while maintaining high quality standards and better working conditions. When combined with a sustainable and recyclable building material such as wood, the potential of modular construction is virtually unlimited – added the Minister.
Also attending the meeting, on behalf of the local authorities, were the Mayor of Toruń, Michał Zaleski, and the Deputy Marshal of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Province, Zbigniew Ostrowski. The politicians visited the factory and argued for the immense potential of green building in Europe.
– It is said that King Casimir the Great found Poland made of wood and left it made of brick. However, when looking at the MOD21 concept I still wonder if it was really the correct direction of change... I am delighted that we are returning to wood as a building material and using it in a modern manner, responding to the challenges of the present day – said Zbigniew Ostrowski, Deputy Marshall of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Province.
Also important in terms of sustainability is the fact that, at the end of their useful life, entire buildings or individual modules are recycled and reused. When a wooden boomerang was presented to the German Minister by the Erbud Group CEO, it was a compelling symbol of both the circular economy and the return to using wood in construction.
– The construction industry must evolve - on the one hand to meet the ever-increasing demand for new buildings and, on the other, to ensure the sustainability of the entire industry. Therefore, in MOD21 we suggest a return to wood as an ecological and economically efficient raw material – said Dariusz Grzeszczak, President of Erbud Group, the company which owns the MOD21 factory in Ostaszewo.
For over 30 years in Toruń
Fabryka MOD21 została otwarta w listopadzie zeszłego roku, ale Grupa Erbud działa w Toruniu już od 32 lat.
– It has been more than three decades of beneficial cooperation between the City of Toruń and Erbud. There is huge satisfaction in the fact that it is here that a state-of-the-art factory has been built which is transforming the construction industry. However, the most important aspect from our perspective is that the company has created hundreds of jobs and willingly contributes to local projects. One of the finest examples is the building of the Centre for Contemporary Art in Toruń, which is the work of Erbud. Naturally, in this cooperation we are not slowing down. Along with the Erbud Foundation, we are planning to create a training home from the MOD21 modules for people who require support in starting independent living – said Michał Zaleski, Mayor of Toruń.
Another symbol of the successful cooperation between the Erbud Group and its German partners in Toruń was when the German Minister and Presidents Grzeszczak and Kaczmarczyk finished a mural together that was already prepared mostly by MOD21 employees.
– I think that painting the three blank spaces on the mural prepared by our staff represents a powerful symbol of how our factory functions. Its success depends first and foremost on its employees; they are the ones who ensure that production runs smoothly every day, oversee the quality of our modules and analyse what else can be done better. My responsibility is to ensure that we are moving in the right direction in line with our strategy. Moreover, I believe that it is teamwork that drives us to succeed and we will do so even more – said Theodor Kaczmarczyk, President of MOD21.
Currently, MOD21 directs all production to the German market. In the spring of this year, the company started manufacturing and has already completed modules for a nursery in Eisingen near Stuttgart - installation on site is currently underway. Meanwhile, modular units are already being constructed at the factory, which will serve as accommodation for those in refugee crisis near Munich. This is another of the Ostaszewo-based start-up’s successful contracts.
The basic raw material in the production process at MOD21 is wood sourced exclusively from certified sources in Europe. The ecological advantage of wood over other materials is best demonstrated by CO2 emissions - for example, one square metre of external wall in a wooden construction has a negative CO2 balance of -88 kg (this means that by producing such a wall, we avoid 88 kg of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, because we do not produce it in any other, more environmentally damaging method). For comparison, concrete construction is associated with emissions of 82 kg CO2.