Zech joins forces with Cree:
a breakthrough in timber-hybrid construction

Zech joins forces with Cree:

Zech Group to partner with the Austrian pioneer of timber-hybrid construction. Acting as a platform too is the logical next step in the international growth strategy. First joint project has already begun.

The Zech Group GmbH from Bremen, Germany, joined owner Rhomberg Ventures on 19 April 2018 to become the second partner in Cree GmbH from Dornbirn in Vorarlberg, Austria: a joint venture that is set to benefit both sides. This is just the next step towards enriching the construction industry with the unique Cree principle, offering outstanding innovation in the fields of digitisation and modular construction. Negotiations are under way with more partners to extend the basis of this learning construction platform.

The euphoria was plain to see on the face of Cree Managing Director Hubert Rhomberg at the contract signing ceremony: “This cooperation enables us to bring together German management skills with in-depth Austrian expertise in modular construction with timber. Forming a powerful team, we will enjoy a further boost towards sustainable construction in German-speaking countries and beyond. This partnership makes it possible for Cree to concentrate more fully on building up its construction platform and putting the associated gain in experience to good use in real life.”

For the group of companies from northern Germany, this partnership is a clear commitment to the benefits of timber-hybrid construction, which is gaining in popularity among architects and planners. “The professional prefabrication process saves time, dust, noise and costs on the construction site – an invaluable advantage, especially for projects in inner city, urban areas,” explains Olaf Demuth, Managing Director of Zech Bau Holding.

An idea that just grows and grows.
Cree’s timber-hybrid construction system, known as the LCT (LifeCycle Tower) system, combines two significant solution approaches to meet today’s construction challenges: modular construction and timber construction. With a holistic approach and innovative strategies in these areas, Cree wants to provide the impetus and ideas for a better way of working with nature and reduce the use of resources and energy throughout the entire lifecycle of a building. Furthermore, the Vorarlberg timber construction specialists are pioneers of digital planning of construction projects and already provide tools for architects and planners to use to design buildings quickly and safely using the BIM process, enabling them to create a “digital twin” to model the entire lifecycle before they even break ground. This gives the Zech Group access to one of the most advanced interactive technology, knowledge and project platforms. In return, the Germans bring their market presence with projects in Germany and their experience with managing major projects to the partnership.

Alongside the economic and operational benefits, the similarities between the two companies also favoured the connection: “Both Zech and Cree’s parent company, Rhomberg Ventures are owner-managed family companies with long histories. Both have learned from experience: innovation and solid growth are the basis for sustained success,” explains Demuth. The initial successes were also announced at the contract signing. Two projects in Germany are in the preparatory stages, and more commissions are nearing completion. In the next few months, the unique Cree platform will gradually be expanded to develop into the leading project platform for timber-hybrid construction.

About the Zech Group GmbH
The Zech Group GmbH is a strategic management holding company incorporating six divisions with their own actively operating controlling companies. The sheer variety of services offered makes the company a competent partner in the construction, real estate, hotel, environment/technology, industry and international & consulting sectors. As a broad-based, diversified group of companies, it concentrates on the real estate value chain. A medium-sized, owner managed company, the Zech Group is able to rapidly seize opportunities and adapt structures to market demands.

About Cree GmbH
Cree’s name is borrowed from one of North America’s First Nations who lived in close harmony with nature and stands for Creative Resource & Energy Efficiency. The company is part of Rhomberg Ventures. It was founded in 2010 and aims to use innovative strategies to provide inspiration and ideas for improving the way we live and work with nature. New approaches focus on reducing the use of resources and energy over the whole lifecycle of buildings, taking into account climate-protection requirements. The timber-construction specialist’s vision is a hybrid timber high-rise building reaching up 30 floors or 100 metres, boasting minimised resource and energy use from planning to dismantling. This is achieved through the LCT (LifeCycle Tower) system. With the LCT ONE office tower in Dornbirn and the Illwerke Zentrum Montafon in Vandans, Cree has already demonstrated twice over that the concept works under real conditions. The system was first implemented for residential construction in a combined commercial and residential building in Memmingen, Bavaria.

Zech Group GmbH
August-Bebel-Allee 1, D-28329 Bremen
Holger Römer
Communications Department
T. +49 421 41007-113

Cree GmbH
c/o Rhomberg Gruppe
Mariahilfstr. 29, A-6900 Bregenz
Mag. Matthias Moosbrugger
Head of Marketing & Communications
T. +43 5574 403-2195

Looking forward to working together: Olaf Demuth, managing director of Zech Bau Holding, and Cree managing director Hubert Rhomberg at the contract signing ceremony. Cree’s cloud technology means that the operation and life cycle of a building can be planned and analysed even before breaking ground. This saves both resources and costs.