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Healthy timber work fully en vogue

Low emission wood-based materials are rare.The best come from the Hunsrück region

As a family firm in its third generation, elka Holzwerke likes to follow its own traditions. While others were laughing off the early arguments concerning VOC and formaldehyde, company owner Karl-Robert Kuntz was already focussing on panels made from fresh spruce. And now the medium-sized company from the Hunsrück region has become the forerunner in this field. Its innovative board esb PLUS with its extremely low emission values is one of the few to already meet the requirements of the new building regulations.  

In the future, wood-based materials and products will need to adhere to much stricter emission values in order to receive building regulation approval. From 1 January 2019, a new MVV TB (Model Administrative Provisions – Technical Building Rules) applies in Germany. Although the legislative authority affords the manufacturers a grace period until 30 September 2019 for the wood-based panel area (OSB & chipboard), the forward-looking among those working with wood are already

converting to low emission boards and using the few suppliers in this area to cover their raw material requirements.


elka Holzwerke already fulfills the MVV TB specifications

At elka Holzwerke, the atmosphere surrounding the stricter specifications is very relaxed. "We have already been fulfilling the specifications for some time," says the Head of Marketing and Sales Dagmar E. Hilden-Kuntz. "Since talk of new limits began, the demand for our products in every segment has shown a pronounced positive development. Our products are in line with the new generation of health-conscious timber construction."

The ecological quality of the elka products is confirmed by ecolabels such as "the blue angel" (esb PLUS and VITA spruce natural wood panel), the "Premium Quality" seal for timber materials, listing in the Austrian "baubook" and certificates from the Sentinel Haus Institut (esb PLUS and VITA spruce natural wood panel), as well as the German Sustainable Building Council. Additionally, the esb board has been awarded the ICONIC AWARD 2017 & the MATERIALpreis 2018 in ecology, and the low emission VITA spruce natural wood panel with the German Design Award 2018.

The variantesb PLUS with its very low VOC values, guaranteed formaldehyde emissions below 0.03 ppm and 100 % recyclability is particularly appreciated in the RAL-certified timber and prefabricated housing industry.

Recently, elka has also begun offering a 15 mm wall panel in a 3-layer composite in the formats 187.5 cm x 265, 280, 300 cm through the new main dealer system.

People working with wood are pleased with the time-saving, quick installation and improved statics of the wall panels.

The standard board esb is also a low emission, practically odourless wooden composite board from pure green wood (Emission standard E1). The spruce wood chips come from sustainable forestry; old timber is not used. Furthermore, a recycling and processing-friendly MUF glue without isocyanate is used.


Low emission vita 3-layer boards & wooden acoustic panels

The VITA natural wood panel, a 3-layer board from spruce or Douglas fir, is ideal for furniture, shop and trade fair fitting, as well as sophisticated interior design. The beautiful, continuous grain appears natural, while at the same time VITA is dimensionally stable and affordable. The spruce natural wood panel carries the ecolabel "the blue angel" and a certificate from Sentinel Haus if requested by the customer, as well as the German Design Award 2018. Under the brand name "Holzliebe", elka is marketing digitally printed natural wood panels with an oak or vintage appearance.

The latest innovation for BAU 2019 is the hybrid board e-vita (esb PLUS inside).

This board combines the classy appearance of the VITA natural wood panel with the technical properties of the esb PLUS. The top layers are made from solid spruce, while the 9 mm thick core is basically an esb PLUS board. The middle layer improves the static properties and allows dimensionally stable tongue-and-groove joints. e-vita is suitable for an extremely wide range of applications thanks to its ecological, technical and visual benefits. It can be used in high-quality furniture and interior design as well as in trade fair and shop fitting.

The equally low emission wood acoustic panel VarianteX (esb Silent inside) was developed through cooperation with Lahnau Akustik GmbH.

With its Class B1 Fire Protection certification, the innovative wood fibre panel is a true alternative to timber wool acoustic panels, and with a level of acoustic absorption of αw 0.65 even exceeds them. Its relatively low weight and large formats of up to 1.25 m x 3.45 m also prove advantageous during assembly. Since 2017, numerous nurseries and schools have already been fitted with VarianteX esb Silent inside.

The area of sawn timber is also not overlooked when it comes to innovation at elka. After all, elka Holzwerke originated from a saw mill over 100 years ago and since then has developed into a leading German supplier of sawn timber specialities in spruce/fir and Douglas fir from sustainably managed forests. The business activities range from lumber, square timber and quarter sawn wood, to every type of plank and board, splitting into wedge planks and guttering boards, to an extensive range of planed wood.


materialPREIS 2018 for esb PLUS

Ecologically award-winning:

The esb PLUS wooden composite board was awarded the 2018 materialPREIS at a ceremony on 5 June. The innovative board made of spruce wood chips took third place in the ecology category, thereby prevailing over all other wood-based materials. The first two places in this category went to textile materials.

The renowned “Award for special materials” is awarded to manufacturers and users in alternating years. The awarding body is the company raumPROBE, which runs the largest material exhibition and database of its kind with over 50,000 materials.



esb PLUS won over the jury because it combines outstanding emission levels with technical benefits and a wide application range. The medium-sized elka Holzwerke, based in Hunsrück, predominantly uses spruce wood chips from its own sawmills for esb PLUS. “This is the only way we can guarantee that there is no scrap wood or resin-rich timbers in the boards,” says Managing Director, Gerd Michael Lersch. The spruces originate from sustainable forestry with the PEFC and/or FSC quality seal. A special process guarantees less than 0.03 ppm formaldehyde emission by the board. Recycling-friendly MUF bonding also contributes to the sustainability.

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German Design Award 2018

Designer Prize for Spruce Panel

VITA Natural Wood Panel wins the German Design Award 2018


The VITA Natural Wood Panel from elka Holzwerke wins one of the most prestigious design honours: the German Design Award 2018. The prize is awarded by the German Design Council, the authority for brand and design in Germany. "The Vita Natural Wood Panel combines excellent ecological properties with the structural requirements of a building board" was given as the reason for the jury's decision. The award was presented to the winners on 9th February in the framework of an official event in Frankfurt / Main.

The design prize is only awarded "to projects that truly represent pioneering contributions to the German and international design landscape." That is what the jury demands. Cars and stacking chairs have already been nominated for the prestigious prize, E-bike clothing and an expo pavilion. And now the VITA Natural Wood Panel.

This isn’t a piece of furniture, mind you, or a particularly sophisticated timber joint, nor is it an interior architecture project. It’s really just a simple wooden board. More precisely: a multi-layer spruce panel in qualities AB/B and B/C.

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Ceremonial presentation on 4th October

ICONIC AWARDS 2017 | Architecture. Interior. Product. Communication. Concept.

A competition for the whole world of architecture.

It was an entertaining evening on October 4th in the double cone of BMW Welt in Munich! This can also bee seen in the pictures, which you can view as a short film ( Participants and award winners from around the whole world made this evening an international celebration of architecture. Prizes were awarded to visionary buildings, innovative products and sustainable communication from every category in the fields of architecture, construction and real estate, as well as the branch of industry producing for them.

All the more reason for the participants of elka Holzwerke, along with their successful Bavarian sales partner HWW GmbH & Co. Holzwerke KG from Waal, to be excited about receiving the Winner Certificate of the Iconic Award in the Product category. The Iconic Award, one of the most important centres of competence for design and architecture, honours an innovative and extremely low emission raw material for the RAL-certified timber and prefabricated housing industry. In doing so, the long-term development of esb (elka strong board) into the now perfected esb PLUS has now been recognised for the first time.



Left to right: HWW Head of Marketing/Authorised Representative Alexander Schmid, Head of Marketing & Sales Dipl. Kfm. Dagmar E. Hilden-Kuntz (elka-Holzwerke GmbH) & Prince Georg von der Leyen (HWW)

For the esb PLUS panel, elka Holzwerke uses low resin green spruce chippings which produce low VOC (volatile organic compound). The spruces originate from sustainable forestry with the PEFC seal. A special process guarantees less than 0.03 ppm formaldehyde emission by the board. Recycling-friendly MUF bonding also contributes to the sustainability.

The esb PLUS also leaves other raw materials, such as the OSB boards, far behind in terms of transverse tensile strength and bending strength in both axes. The boards are largely vapour-permeable and certified as tongue and groove underlay boards. Furthermore, the green spruce chippings give the very uniform, light coloured surface, which is always sanded by elka before delivery. Since 1.1.2017, the tougher environmental labels "Blue Angel" and "Sentinel Haus" are applied to outstanding environmental properties with unique features.



German Brand Award

elka is brand of the year

elka Holzwerke from the Hunsrück region wins the German Brand Award

As of 29.06.2017, it isofficial: elka Holzwerke is among the best German brands in the construction and structural materials industry. As the winner of the "German Brand Award 2017" in the category Special Motion, Building and Elements, the Managing Director Karl-Robert Kuntz and the Head of Marketing & Sales, Dagmar E. Hilden-Kuntz accepted the winner's certificate during a ceremonial award presentation in Berlin. The German Design Council and the German Brand Institute honour successful brands, consistent market leadership and sustainable brand communication with the German Brand Award.


"The name elka stands for the highest environmental and sustainable quality cut wood and wood-based panels", says Dagmar Hilden-Kuntz. "We are very proud of this award, which also shows that the experts recognise our dedication to low emission timber building materials." At the same time, it is not the first award that Hilden-Kuntz has accepted this year. Only recently, elka-Slatten became the first company in Germany to pass the "Blue Angel" environmental label tests since they were made more rigorous in 2017.

elka-Holzwerke was founded as a saw mill in 1906 in in the Hunsrück region. Sustainability was a fundamental part of the company philosophy and tradition of the medium-sized family-run company, even before the subject became fashionable. This continued later in the research and development of ecological construction products. The consistent focus on high-grade timber materials and heightened brand communication has given elka increasing turnover and an excellent reputation among construction specialists in recent years with its flagships, the esb wood-based board and the VITA natural wood panel.

"Focussing, clear differentiation from the competition and the involvement of staff who understand and implement the brand, are and remain the most important success criteria of strong brands," emphasised the head juror Andrej Kupetz.



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esb Plus/ VITA