Wooden houses with purity

An expert‘s project of Friedl Holzbau GmbH

Pfleiderer in conversation with Mr. Richard Schinagl Jr.

Pfleiderer: Mr. Schinagl, what do we mean by a "Holzwerthaus"?

Richard Schinagl: A Friedl Holzwerthaus is our answer to the question of how to make a prefabricated wooden house better. This starts with the name. After all, almost all modern timber houses that are common here in the south of the republic are built using the timber frame or timber panel construction method. Because the elements are prefabricated, they are thus in the literal sense of course prefabricated houses. But when they hear the term "prefabricated house", some people intuitively think of "ready-made pizza", i.e. not quite high-quality mass products - and that's where we want to position ourselves correctly.

Pfleiderer: Please describe your philosophy?

Richard Schinagl: First of all, it is important for us to emphasise that we do not build off-the-peg type houses. This means that customers always get an individually planned house from us, where they can influence the geometry and room layout themselves. In the background, of course, we also use standardised modules, but they give us a high degree of flexibility when it comes to putting them together. In this way, we can reconcile the economic advantages of system construction with the wishes of our clients in the best possible way. For us, this results in an intensive planning and consulting phase for each of the approximately 30 houses we build each year

Pfleiderer: You could certainly do all that with other building materials. Why wood?

Richard Schinagl: Quite simply: It fits perfectly with our quality philosophy. Anyone who builds a house with us today attaches great importance to ecology and healthy living. The best way to achieve this is with wood. We saw this as an opportunity to distinguish ourselves from the competition - and as a result, we gradually switched our materials to the healthiest and most sustainable alternatives. Take our wall structures, for example: Where OSB and mineral wool insulation and high-density polystyrene were used in the past, we have gradually and consistently increased the proportion of wood: first, we replaced the polystyrene on the facade with a soft wood fibreboard. However, due to the requirements for thermal insulation, we also needed a thicker frame. At the same time, the thickness of the wall studs increased from 16 to 24 cm. Furthermore, for reasons of healthy living, we replaced the OSB boards with LivingBoard from Pfleiderer. Then we switched from mineral wool insulation in the compartments to Isofloc blow-in insulation. But not with cellulose fibres, i.e. their standard product, but with wood fibres. We were pioneers in the first use of the blow-in machine with the loose wood fibre insulation material and it took a while until everything ran smoothly. But now, in addition to the desired thermal insulation, we also achieve better sound insulation. As a result, our wall now consists almost 100% of natural, healthy materials - most of it wood. We have even found a natural solution for the moisture-prone areas such as building bases and window junctions, namely special insulation panels made of cork.

Pfleiderer: That's a lot of effort, considering that you can't see it on the wall, isn't it?

Richard Schinagl: Yes, but that is just our attitude or our nature. We develop until we ourselves are completely satisfied. That lasts for a while - and then comes the next phase, when things have to get even better. Of course, this tendency towards perfectionism doesn't always make life easy, especially in an industry that tends to be a bit rougher by comparison. But that's just the price of our self-imposed "purity law" [grins]. The fact that our walls, which have been optimised down to the last detail, are then plastered over in most cases is naturally unfavourable from a marketing point of view. To ensure that the house's high-quality naturalness is visible at first glance, we use wood-aluminum windows and, in some cases, wooden facade elements to complement the sustainable interior.

Pfleiderer: How do you imagine the production of the wall you just described?

Richard Schinagl: We work industrially in the most positive sense of the word. Planning is fully digital, and in implementation we use state-of-the-art machinery and clearly defined processes to achieve maximum precision. The modules are prefabricated in our factory and assembled on site. On the one hand, this ensures that our customers' wishes are implemented precisely. And on the other hand, the high degree of mechanisation also makes production more efficient from a cost perspective. Because while both ecology and digitisation are fascinating, in my view they must not become ends in themselves. For our customers - and for us, too - the resulting value must be right. In other words, the whole package from comfort and aesthetics to healthy living and sustainability to longevity!

Pfleiderer: As a comparatively small company with a high degree of customisation, Friedl nevertheless uses show houses. Why?

Richard Schinagl: We build houses for people, and we humans are all flesh-and-blood creatures who communicate through our five senses. You simply need something tangible to touch and feel. In contrast to the common understanding, our show houses are not standard houses that can only be bought in exactly the same way, but they are simply demonstration objects that are intended to show in an exemplary way what makes a FRIEDL Holzwerthaus stand out in terms of quality. In addition, the show house gives us the opportunity to test new systems under real conditions - without any risk for our customers. That's why, after 9 years now, we have built another new show house - even though the old one is still perfectly okay in many respects. In our new house, in addition to the new wall structures, we also focused on the topic of energy supply. With an air/water heat pump and photovoltaics, we offer a future-proof heating solution that does not require fossil fuels. We have also used BayWa's so-called climate ceiling and are now gathering experience with it. This is a prefabricated system that is installed on the ceiling and heats or cools the rooms as needed. The advantages for the residents are obvious. But for us, too, it represents another opportunity to build our houses a little smarter. At the same time, we are taking the opportunity to test a dry screed for the first time. If these two systems prove themselves - which I assume they will - we can improve energy efficiency and comfort and shorten the construction time because we save on the drying phase for the screed. These are developments exactly to my taste!


Pfleiderer: Are Friedl Holzwerthäuser also finished faster thanks to all these developments?

Richard Schinagl: In principle, yes. From the beginning of the design planning until the house is ready for occupancy, we expect a total development time of three quarters to a full year, with a pure construction time on the site of three to four months. If necessary, we can shorten the construction time even further by using the dry screed already mentioned. And in our show house, for the first time we have also prefabricated a complete room, the children's bathroom, as a three-dimensional room cell complete with all installations, tiles and ready-made surfaces, and then assembled this room module from the workshop together with the remaining prefabricated elements of the house. This saves time, of course, and helps us to control the activities in the plant even better. In addition, many of our houses - especially those in rural locations where space is not an issue - are now built without basements. As building services become more and more compact, this is again an opportunity for us to reduce construction costs without making unwelcome compromises for the client. As you can see, our philosophy always strives to optimise and perfectly harmonise as many factors as possible: Aesthetics, healthy living, sustainability and - last but not least - good value for money. Only when all this is right are we satisfied - and the home of our customers is a real Friedl Holzwerthaus!

Pfleiderer: Mr. Schinagl, thank you for the interview!


ProfessionCivil Engineer & Managing Director
MottoLive and let live, the best solutions arise in free competition.

The facts about the project

ProjectModel house Friedl Holzbau GmbH
Johannesstraße 1
84101 Obersüßbach

LivingBoard Face Contiprotect P5

StyleBoard MDF.RHW

Application area:Wood frame construction in wall & ceiling
Execution:FRIEDL Holzbau GmbH
Johannesstraße 1 – Niedersüßbach
84101 Obersüßbach
Builder:           FRIEDL Holzbau GmbH
Johannesstraße 1 – Niedersüßbach
84101 Obersüßbach

September 2023



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