GS E&C to target the domestic wooden housing market with subsidiary company ‘XiGEIST’

By: Tai Jeong

Country Director, Canada Wood Korea

Conglomerate GS Engineering and Construction group recently established a subsidiary branded as XiGEIST to focus on producing prefabricated wooden houses to serve the growing Korean market. XiGEIST’s factory is equipped with advanced automated production equipment sourced from Germany, and full-scale manufacturing is expected to begin by July 2022. With the annual sales revenue exceeding CAD$10 billion in 2021, the company is one of South Korea’s top three construction entities.

In recent years, E&C has acquired a foothold and established its wooden prefab house business in Europe by acquiring Danwood SA, a Polish wooden modular company in 2020 and Element Europe, a UK-based firm specializing in prefab steel modular buildings. Now it’s ready to turn its focus on the domestic market. While prefabrication is relatively small in Korea, demand has been increasing due to the aging workforce and tightened regulations on onsite work environment.

GS E&C’s XiGEIST is constructing a demonstration house in Hanam, Gyeonggi-do, 20km from central Seoul. Framing work is currently in full swing, and the project is slated to be completed in May of this year. Canada Wood Korea consultant Jae Choi has been appointed as official supervisor to provide project management and technical guidance. Most of XiGEIST’s design and construction staff have already completed the regular training courses offered by Canada Wood Korea, and we will continue to support their new venture.

XiGEIST’s model house under construction

Canada Wood has been working with KIC (The Korea Institute of Building Construction) to leverage its influence and network to target Chaebol builders like E&C in an effort to encourage the penetration of wood construction into Korea’s mainstream construction markets.