Matías Abergo spoke about his two projects that aim to revolutionize the way construction is done locally: Enkel Group and Arboreal.

Enkel Group is the first mass timber construction company in Uruguay, and Arboreal is a sawmill that provides wood solutions. Both projects are strongly oriented towards sustainability and the production and use of materials that have a positive impact on climate change. “We handle both fronts,” said Matías Abergo about these two companies he leads.

He argued that, although Uruguayans are very fond of brick construction, in the United States, large-scale wooden buildings are constructed in adverse climates and “there are no issues.”

“In 2017, with Enkel, we ventured into traditional construction, but dissatisfied with the execution, we explored alternatives,” he recounted during the first local edition of the Forbes Real Estate Summit. “We researched different construction models and fell in love with mass timber.”

They decided to train in wood construction in Europe, and then bring the system to Uruguay. “In 2020, we decided to acquire the largest sawmill in the country, investing 60 million dollars. We established a plant to produce 12-meter panels, revolutionizing the construction process and exporting more than 400 containers per month. Our plant is the seventh largest in the world,” he detailed.

“Basically, what you do is assemble an Ikea furniture in a house. They are automated lines that, after those panels, pillars, and beams are processed, a robot makes all those cuts with millimetric precision and it is totally customized,” he explained. This procedure, he added, reduced on-site problems by 90% and optimized construction time by 40%.

In the future, he spoke of two projects: the St. Catherine school and a 160-apartment building, along with other high-level developments. Regarding the construction method, he highlighted its efficiency compared to traditional methods: “We have managed to reduce on-site problems by 40% because they are resolved beforehand.”


“Mass Timber: How the system works in Uruguay to create everything from buildings to schools in wood.”.,