Interview: Challenges in modular build

Vienna is growing a new landmark: The Wood Boutique Hotel.

The walls, ceilings and floors of the 50 rooms are all made of wood. And these wooden modules were planned, produced and installed by the Austrian module builder DPM Holzdesign GmbH.

Leopold Kasseckert, Managing Director at DPM Holzdesign GmbH explains the challenges he experiences in module construction, how these challenges can be solved and why it is so important for him and his team to work with non-toxic products.

Tipp: Click on the sub-title icon in the bottom left corner of the video to read his answers in English!

What were the challenges of this project?

This project was very challenging, as many components interacted together. Firstly, the construction site in Vienna was in a gap between buildings with high-rise buildings on the left and right, directly on the Vienna Belt with a very difficult delivery situation. We were only able to assemble modules there between 00:00 a.m. and 05:00 a.m. which caused a huge number of problems. First the transport, second the lighting on site. We had to have perfect light at night to be able to place the modules there. Then we had to comply with all the Vienna fire safety standards and all in all, of course, there are a lot of regulations and requirements for a construction site.

How could SIGA help with these challenges?

The modules are fully equipped inside, with furniture, floors, mattresses, everything inside. Now the problem/question came up of how we can protect the construction in time? We have seven floors, we must make sure that the floor is sealed after every floor, after every night. That is where Wetguard® from SIGA comes into play. Actually, a product that we have been wishing for a long time in my industry, in modular construction. That helps us a lot. We can apply Wetguard® over the whole surface, we produce a very good moisture protection. This is all done in the factory, right up to the facade. And on the construction site, only the module joints and connections to the corridor slab have to be sealed. This allows us to rapidly create a sealing layer after each floor.

What are the most important arguments why SIGA Wetguard® was used?

With SIGA-Wetguard® we have a huge advantage in this ecological project as it is completely non-toxic like all other SIGA products. It can be applied over the entire surface.

We can pre-apply everything in the factory and when moving the modules we can save a whole lot of work of unpacking them, thus also saving the whole protective foil.

SIGA-Wetguard® remains on the module and after placing it, only the module joints are bonded. And we have a perfect seal per floor.

How much faster could you work here compared to another product?

Wetguard® has accelerated our work a lot. In principle, the individual jobs still take time, but we could save ourselves all this packaging work. Wrapping very bulky modules with 10 m foils is extremely labor-intensive. Then the entire transport safety must be achieved with planks. We have finished facades underneath. That means we can’t fix anything there. The self-adhesive foil is very easy to apply. It comes in 1.5 m-wide strips, and is applied with an overlap.

In my opinion, the biggest advantage for us is on the construction site. We can immediately lift the modules away from the truck without unpacking them.

Especially in this situation, where two lanes are blocked, where a huge crowd of security guards, transport company, everybody is on duty, in the middle of the night in the dark. This is a huge advantage. And especially regarding this eco-project, there are no foils to be disposed of the next day after a deployment.

What is the big advantage of our product?

The big advantage of the SIGA foil are the well-known advantages such as full-surface adhesion.
Then the SIGA adhesive strength. The product can be stored for a long time, we have no expiration date on it. At the beginning you have the impression that you are back at school, binding books. It’s a bit challenging in the beginning, but after the first two modules our employees did it perfectly. In the meantime, they don’t want anything else. In future we will cover all our modules with the SIGA product. The whole transport protection system alone; one must not forget, we produce modules and not cars or planes. They are on the road with 80 km/h on the highway after all. Everybody knows that if a foil is not completely tight at 80 km/h, you drive about 20 km and then you can pick up the shreds on the highway. We don’t have this problem with the full-surface foil. There is a perfect grip on the product, on the module.

How has our product improved the work on the construction site?

Our employees see several advantages in the product. Firstly, a normal foil must be secured with expendable planks. When the expendable planks are attached, the foil is damaged by the screws again. Then there are holes in the foil and at each hole, a normal foil can let through water because of the capillary effect. We do not have this problem with the fully adhesive Wetguard®. First of all, we do not need the protection planks. Secondly, if there are holes, it is not a big deal. Because of the full-surface bonding, water can only spread a little bit on the outside of the module and not completely seep through.

How important was it that the SIGA product is completely free of residential toxins?

SIGA Wetguard® fits perfectly to our ecological wood construction business. We are very ecologically oriented. We also produce the insulation ISO-Straw ourselves, a regional insulation material produced from regional wheat straw. It is very important for our customers to think ecologically. In the meantime also for our entire business. By using ecological products all my employees and myself have turned very ecological.

Wetguard® fits perfectly into our product range, with its optimal processing conditions.

On the one hand the optimal weather protection, on the other hand after use the low sd-value, the full-surface bonding. So it speaks all the languages we want to hear. A perfect product for us.

Leopold Kasseckert, Managing Director, DPM Holzdesign GmbH

Do you want to learn more about this exciting project? Check out the project reference «The Wood Boutique Hotel» and see in the video how the building is created.

Avatar for Stefanie Schaller

Stefanie Schaller

Inbound Marketer at SIGA in Switzerland who loves books, yoga and travelling the world

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