Located within a one-hour drive north of Porto, the First , a new B&B Hotel Guimarães and a Studio Apartments complex, in Guimarães stands out as the first timber-hybrid building on the Iberian Peninsula which was constructed using engineered wood and only one-third of the concrete normally used in traditional buildings.
The CREE complex in Guimarães consists of two 4-storey buildings – a hotel with 95 rooms, and a students’ residence offering 44 rented studio apartments as well as commercial space – both located in the vicinity of the University of Minho, which makes it a perfect residence quarters for the students and university staff.
Both buildings of the First complex have a reinforced concrete base (levels 0 and 1) and a 4-storey CREE structure overtop (levels 2-5) designed by the Architect Mário Fernandes. Fully prefabricated hybrid-slab elements as well as façade panels with attached load-bearing glulam columns made it possible to significantly optimize the building assembly. The construction of each of the blocks took only 8 days thanks to the innovative prefabrication process of the CREE System, which allowed a reduction of about 40% of the total construction time.
Another outstanding feature of the First is the use of the bathroom modules from Blufab, consisting of prefabricated 2D elements, which allowed for a quicker installation and finishing of the rooms interior. An integrated natural ventilation system and exposed timber elements create an unmatched living experience and healthier environment for the residents.
The First in Guimarães, born as a beautiful product of aligned visions and collaborative partnership between Grupo Casais, ASPECT Structural Engineers and at CREE Buildings, shows a new approach to sustainable residential construction and demonstrates amazing new potentials for the use of the CREE System to the forward-thinking hotel developers worldwide.