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PRESS RELEASE: Chestnut wood and Sheep's wool of the Orco and Soana Valleys for the creation of road noise barriers

Giovedì 03 Febbraio 2011 15:37

bandiera-inglese.jpgThe Orco and Soana Valley Mountain Communities have bid together with the Studio Associato GES.TER in Chiaverano and the Segheria Valle Sacra sawmill in Castellamonte, in the regional call for tenders for the implementation of measure 124 of the Programme of Rural Development of the Piedmont Region with regard to the "Development of New Products, Processes and Technologies in the forestry sector"; the idea of the project has been deemed worthy with another three over the whole of Piedmont obtaining funding  of Euro 167,000.00 for the creation of road noise barriers  built exclusively with untreated chestnut wood and virgin sheep's wool from the Orco and Soana valleys.
To this end, a purpose-limited joint venture  has been set up where:
- the studio associato GES.TER is the creator of the initiative and project leader;
- the Orco and Soana Valley Mountain Communities must see to the supply of the raw materials.  the wool from breeders who lead their animals to summer pasture in the Upper Valley Orco, the chestnut wood from the woods of Reisabosc Forestry consortium constituted recently on the initiation of the said mountain body;
- the Segheria Valle Sacra sawmill specialised in the working of local chestnut wood aboveall in the making of beams and stakes will see to the construction of prototypes from the sawing and drying of the trunks.
The project is currently in the start-up phase: the wool, after being washed and processed at the Wool Company Biella Consortium, is used to make a mattress; for the wood a site is about to be opened for the felling of a batch of chestnut trees managed by the Soana Valley Consortium.
The combination of the  sound insulation characteristics of the wood with the sound absorption properties of the wool produce a product with outstanding acoustic characteristics; the use of the wood will furthermore be a guarantee of a great appearance. Once the laboratory tests have been passed following the positioning of the barriers on the existing roads in the Orco and Soana Valleys, the feasibility of producing the product on a wide scale will be assessed. The reduction of noise pollution is a fundamental step for the improvement of the environmental compatibility of an extensive road system; the possibilities of developing the experimental project could certainly be much more  interesting when the road management authority or the Provincial Authority provides for the introduction in the supply specifications of characteristics that emphasise the environmental sustainability of the materials used.  
The objective of the experimental project is to check, in the final analysis, the concrete possibility of creating the new market outlets for two local products of high intrinsic value and strictly linked to the sustainable and economic and sustainable management of the territory:  chestnut wood and sheep's wool.
At the end of the experimental phase lasting thirty-six months, an appropriate business plan will drafted that will make it possible to check thoroughly  if there are economic and financial fundamentals to pass from the experimental phase to the full capacity production of road noise barriers.