The sustainable building systems by CREE

The CREE System

An elegant and refined timber-hybrid system for high-rise versatile prefabricated building construction.

Guided by a vision for sustainable and versatile building solutions, we have combined our expertise in timber-hybrid construction with an innovative spirit to refine the CREE system for large-volume building development. Working with CREE empowers you to create high-quality timber-hybrid office and residential buildings quickly and reliably, and with low risk.

Our collaborative model enables contractors to skill up their existing local partners to meet the exacting construction standards of today and the future. Explore the features of the proven, repeatable, and constantly evolving CREE system, and discover the applications most relevant for you. Together we can achieve better results, tailored to the needs of each local market.

The CREE Timber-Hybrid System

This building method uses resources efficiently and offers great design flexibility.

Grid

The ceiling of each story in a CREE building consists of a grid of prefabricated timber-hybrid slab panels. The dimensions of the building are, therefore, a multiple of the slab dimensions in each direction. Three basic grids are available; deviations are only possible in consultation with CREE. The width of the ribbed timber-hybrid panel can vary between 2.50 m, 2.70 m, and 3.00 m, whereas the length of the panel is three times the width.

Glulam columns

Double timber posts transfer vertical forces to the pair of posts below via the floor. Multiple pairs of posts combined with a single façade element can be installed simultaneously. This combination of primary and secondary construction steps leads to faster building by avoiding wet building materials and the associated curing times.

Hybrid slab panel

The slab panels are a hybrid of timber and concrete, providing the necessary fire protection between stores while incorporating renewable materials. The large span of the panels (up to 9.00 m) allows for great flexibility in planning interior layouts. The attractive wooden surfaces can feature either a ribbed or flat soffit, which we recommend keeping in full view.

Façade elements

Unless special stiffening elements are required, the façade elements of a CREE building are not incorporated in the primary structural framework, but rather mounted on it. As a result, the façade design can vary to suit local conditions, specific requirements, or individual preferences. Assembling the structural framework columns with the pre-mounted façade in a single process step speeds up weatherproofing and allows the interior fit-out to begin early, and also means no scaffolding is necessary on site.

Central girders

Many floor layouts call for an extension to the grid to create a greater building depth. We achieve this by introducing central support girders, ideally made of steel to minimize dimensions. These girders allow for greater distances between supporting columns, such as 2-3 grid lines along the girder. If desired, concrete and timber can also be used instead of steel, as long as restrictions on the girder dimensions allow it.
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The CREE Process

Integrated project delivery process involving CREE

Integrated project delivery requires all stakeholders to be involved from the very beginning.

This changes the usual procedure significantly, as many decisions must be taken much earlier than in the conventional planning process, starting with the selection of the CREE system and its components. However, the benefits quickly become clear: soon afterward, several simulations of all workflows are carried out in the digital twin, which facilitates optimized material and information flow and the elimination of resource wastage.

This means that the project delivery process becomes considerably more effective and favors greater efficiency for the whole construction phase, partly through the off-site industrial prefabrication of building components and partly through their assembly on site.

The reduction in complexity (e.g. fewer individual component types) results in the simplification of logistics, more accurate order forecasts, and manageable warehousing for the manufacturers.

 

Thanks to CREE’s neutral role in the process, all key stakeholders gain exactly the head start they need.

The client has CREE as a committed ally focused on delivering an exceptionally valuable product.

On the other hand, we also act as a knowledge provider to the manufacturer, ensuring that all components are produced close to the project site with as little burden on the climate as possible.

Transparency leads to trust. Since the beginning, the CREE ecosystem of all stakeholders in the sector has been profiting from a cycle of continuous improvement.

Our collaborative strategy results in higher quality and greater speed, with set objectives and significant cost savings, and a foundation for successful long-term cooperation.

Start now with the CREE process

CREE process
Conventional Process
Early engagement of CREE in the design-and-build process, plus early involvement of all stakeholders, leads to real efficiency.
Potential savings
25%
Cost
30%
Transport
40%
Material
50%
Time
80%
CO2
cree process desktop
The Eunoia Junior College in Singapore by CREE

CREE Benefits

Efficient, sustainable, viable - and constantly improving.
Speed
Off-site production leads to an estimated 30% increase in labor productivity and 50-70% fewer workers on site compared to conventional on-site labor. Using all-prefabricated components, CREE’s timber-hybrid building technology makes it possible to construct approximately 500 m² of enclosed, weatherproof floor space per day – roughly five times the pace of conventional on-site concrete construction.
Quality
Prefabricated building components provide higher quality and precision thanks to their assembly in a controlled environment, where workers are protected from outdoor conditions and can work more ergonomically. For occupants, CREE’s timber-hybrid buildings ensure lower operation and maintenance costs, as well as an earlier move-in.
Cost & schedule certainty
The integration of design and construction processes enables accurate early projections of the costs and schedule. In the event of design modifications or cost optimization measures, the digital twin allows all project participants to view any changes in real time and assess their implications for costs, time, carbon footprint, and code compliance.
Passive House design
We adopt Passive House design strategies to allow for minimal, or even no, mechanical heating or cooling for most of the year. This strategy highlights the interplay between the building, its occupants, and their environment. The CREE system offers three comfort levels: Standard, Premium, and Exclusive. Each can be customized to suit local climatic conditions, codes, and energy standards.
Vibration control
Despite the many advantages of a lighter superstructure, it may be more susceptible to vibrations. Our system offers the best of both worlds: the concrete top layer of a CREE timber-hybrid slab panel adds mass to the floor, improving vibration and acoustic properties compared to pure timber elements, while remaining significantly lighter than conventional constructions.
Fire resistance
The size and solidity of the timber components in CREE’s timber-hybrid structures helps to make them fire resistant. In the event of a fire, the timber surface chars and protects the material underneath, so these components retain their full load-bearing properties. In addition, the concrete top layer of the composite slabs also serves as a fire stop between each floor level of the building.
Seismic resilience
Timber has some of the best strength-to-weight ratios of all building materials – nearly double the ratio of steel. A CREE building weighs about half of a comparable concrete building, which helps to dampen seismic shockwaves while retaining resistance against sway. Its connections are extremely ductile, which makes them capable of absorbing energy during an extreme seismic event.
Transport reduction
All core and shell components are prefabricated in an off-site facility, so transport is limited to a few end products, which just need to be lifted into place at the construction site. Thanks to their lightness and precision, this is a rapid and quiet process. CREE reduces overall construction traffic, as well as waste and noise levels on the site and its surroundings.
Access for inspection
Our timber-hybrid components come unclad, with authority’s approval especially because of that. CREE structures allow for unrestricted visual access. This prevents worries about moisture ingress, hidden damage, undetected ignition, and even concerns about tropical insect infestations.
Saving resources
Timber-hybrids, whether in combination with steel or concrete, make the most of each material. The design team carefully evaluates the needs of each specific project and comes up with a holistic system solution that harnesses the economic and environmental benefits of the various materials. The CREE building system uses as few materials as possible, and renewable resources wherever possible.
Health, hygiene & safety
Prefabrication allows for better health, hygiene, and safety monitoring than on site. Where CREE buildings are being assembled (instead of being conventionally built), the sites are less populated and therefore safer for each individual worker. Additionally, prefab assembly sites lead to far fewer work accidents. And above all, CREE buildings make everyone feel healthier.

Benefits in Your Field

Learn about the advantages for:

Investors

Reduced lifecycle cost
High resilience and durability
Complies with all established Green Building Certification systems
Competitive edge (higher occupancy rate and rent)
Flexible floor space

Rather than building a prototype with each building, CREE uses an intelligent and highly adaptable product solution which is designed, engineered, produced, and installed by a local workforce. Much lighter than comparable concrete buildings, CREE constructions are more resilient in the event of natural disasters, such as earthquakes.

 

The lifecycle cost of a timber-hybrid building is also lower than that of a conventional building. Smart heating, cooling, and lighting systems, along with passive design strategies, allow for significantly lower energy consumption. The materials and strategies selected for the CREE building system reduce carbon emissions to a minimum. Recognition from sustainability rating systems such as LEED, BREAM, and DGNB highlight these marketable features. Combined with material resilience and attractive interiors, this leads to higher rents or faster sales.

Developers

Repeatable design solutions
Quality, schedule, and cost certainty
Superstructure allows for flexible
layouts
Competitive edge (higher occupancy rate and rent)

CREE prefabricated timber-hybrid construction systems can be applied to all local conditions and climates. In addition, the integrated design and construction process enables early, detailed, and accurate cost estimations. This allows the developer to work rapidly and with extremely precise key performance indicators.

 

Timber-hybrid projects also attract higher rents or faster sales due to the resilience of the material and the attractive interior spaces. In addition, many cities and municipalities are offering incentives and tax cuts for sustainable strategies. General liability insurance risks are the same as for a concrete or steel construction.

General Contractors

400-500 m² per day of floor space (air/water-tight)
Higher productivity per worker (fewer workers needed)
Increased work safety through prefabrication
Less dependence on site conditions
No hidden after-construction costs

The main competitive advantages of the CREE system are its continuous innovation, positive environmental impact, improved aesthetics, leasing velocity, and premium rental prices for timber-hybrid spaces. Ongoing research and development drive innovation, and feedback from the international network ensures a state-of-the-art product.

 

The CREE system increases efficiency both on and off site. A lighter superstructure means less foundation work. Prefabrication and off-site production of CREE components reduces the number of workers required on site, improving health and safety. Right from the beginning, this method is cleaner, quieter, and safer than those on traditional construction sites. After the installation of the floor, column and façade components, the building is air- and water-tight, providing a factory-like work environment.

 

Transfer of knowledge from CREE leads to increased margins and independence for our partners’ organizations. As an integral part of the license agreement with each general construction partner, CREE provides consultancy services during the design, permission, and construction phases of an initial pilot project. By the time the pilot project has been completed, CREE’s know-how has been shared within the partner’s organization, and local sub-contractors or existing supply chains have been successfully integrated.

 

The general contractor owns the product and is therefore less dependent on sub-contractors and price fluctuations. The CREE components comprise a holistic and repeatable product solution that is constantly evolving and improving and offers a high degree of cost and time certainty. The coordination of all parties involved results in transparent revenue streams and savings in construction time.

Architects

3D design components available for download
No load-bearing partition nor exterior walls
Quick superstructure design
Design support within the CREE network
Consistent system details

The modular approach of the CREE system allows for more freedom in design, especially in façade and interior architecture. The multiple grid options available for the plan and elevation allows designers to place and arrange fully developed, detailed, and coordinated digital elements. All the system components are interconnected BIM families with a high level of detail. This lets the architect establish a core and shell project in a fast, efficient, detailed, and analytical way. As a result, the architect has more time and freedom to design a façade and interior spaces that meet the expectations of all the parties involved, as well as complying with environmental and other local regulations.

 

The lifecycle tower concept is a state-of-the-art building system with minimal, infrastructural components. Thanks to the digital twin, the highly detailed BIM model, all parties involved can access and evaluate the current design and infrastructure at any given moment in the project. Cost control and time certainty are very transparent and fully vetted by all parties involved. This motivates designers and builders to work together more closely and helps them find the most cost-effective design strategy. This is also relevant from an ecological perspective, as reduced energy consumption and life cycle analysis of building materials are growing in visibility and importance.

Owners & Tenants

Healthy and attractive indoor environment
Reduced operation and maintenance costs
Highly adaptable floor space
Lower fluctuation rate

Employee well-being and a healthy work environment are essential for every employer. After all, 90% of clients’ expenses go on salaries, whereas investment in buildings comprises just 3-4%. Recent studies have shown that a 1% increase in employee productivity would justify 13% higher building costs. Modular, prefabricated timber-hybrid building systems not only reduce up-front investment, maintenance and lifecycle costs, but also help attract and motivate the workforce through better interior design, natural exposed wood surfaces, and a positive image associated with sustainability and social responsibility.

We Challenge the Status Quo

We provide a holistic, natural, and simplified way of building for those who are sick of the old way of doing things.