As we've previously reported, the use of wood as a building material for larger structures is gaining steam throughout the construction industry. In honor of this year's IBA Hamburg architecture festival, German architectural firm Architekturagentur has created Woodcube: a 5-story carbon-neutral apartment block constructed almost entirely from wood.

The vast majority of the building is wood, excepting necessary fixtures, along with the foundations and elevator shaft. However, no glue nor treatment of any kind was used on the wood during the construction of Woodcube, and the architects instead turned to simple wooden dowels in order to join the necessary pieces together.

Woodcube has a total floor area of 1,479 sq m (16,000 sq ft), and contains eight residential units, themselves measuring between 90 to 190 sq m (968 to 2,045 sq ft). The building's 32 cm (12.5 inch)-thick outer walls offer excellent natural insulation.

An efficient ventilation system based on a heat exchanger can be controlled via iPad, and the elevator is fitted with a brake energy recovery system, cutting down on its energy consumption by an estimated 60 percent. Woodcube also sports solar panels to produce all the electricity required for the building's systems.

The construction of Woodcube began last November and was completed this April. The structure will be on display at IBA Hamburg until November, as part of the festival's Smart Material Houses exhibit.

Sources: IBA Hamburg, Woodcube [German Translation] via Inhabitat