Building a modular wooden home

The Fondation des Amis de Médecins du Monde organized a competition to provide homes for people who are currently in precarious living conditions in Toulouse, France. A participating team from L’Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Toulouse (ENSA) won the second prize in the competition with a proposal for a housing prototype using Kerto® LVL from Metsä Wood.


A request was made for proposals for housing that would be innovative, modular, transformable and easy to dismantle.

Altogether five teams of ENSA students participated in the contest. As one of the teams succeeded well, their professor, Mr. Josse, decided to turn the winning plan into an actual prototype by involving all teams in the project. He hoped his educational approach would provide students with a concrete learning experience that was both tangible and unifying. His goal as a teacher and journeyman carpenter by trade was to help students discover the world of work and construction through other means than the role of the architect.

The intention of the Maille-House project was to construct a prototype that would best address the theme of housing for homeless individuals.

Choosing an innovative and sustainable wooden structure

With an aim to create something universal, Maille-House is a customizable housing package which includes beams whose dimensions and cutting could be mass produced. Metsä Wood’s Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber) seemed to be the most efficient and straightforward solution for constructing a modular housing prototype.

Kerto® LVL is produced from 3 mm thick rotary-peeled softwood veneers that are glued together using weather resistant adhesive. The mechanical performance of this engineered product retains a finesse and structural lightness that provides both an environmental advantage and allows faster installation. Building with Kerto LVL is fast, light and green.

By partnering with Metsä Wood, the Ecole d’Architecture de Toulouse has provided an efficient, sustainable and economical solution for modular housing. Beyond compliance with the school’s requested technical considerations, Metsä Wood was able to share its expertise through this innovative project with a real-world, social component.