« Les Cloisières » is a unique project. Not only because it will be the ‘ highest ‘ timber construction in Belgium (in 2015), but also unique because of the integration of all possible ecological construction techniques. It will include solar panels, micro-cogeneration, controlled ventilation, rainwater harvesting and green roofs. The project is inspired by the conversion of the old “Vauban” military base in Freiburg, Germany. Constructed in 1996 it is one of the first car free neighborhoods in Europe. In the first phase of « Les Cloisières » 197 dwellings will be constructed. On completion with 600 dwellings, shops and services it will form a new neighborhood of 18 hectares to the South of Charleroi.
For the construction of two multi-level buildings (5 storeys) in this Eco-Neighborhood project the developer opted to use massive cross laminated timber (CLT) plates. The parameterization with the finite elements of the orthotropic behavior of the CLT panels is an important issue in the analysis of multi-level buildings. The different behavior in the two in-plane directions of CLT plates is often not taken into account but it can have a non-negligible impact on the load takedown and in particular on the transfer of floor loads to walls and the wall beams. For us it had also the advantage that the transverse rigidity could be exploited to optimize the thickness of the floors.