Finland has the potential to be a pioneer in wood construction for the future, according to Harald Professner, Sales Director of the Austrian construction company Rhomberg Bau, and Canadian architect Michael Green, who visited Finland for the annual ‘Wood Day’ event organised by the Finnish non-profit company Puuinfo oy. Puuinfo is owned by The Finnish Forest Industry Federation, The Finnish Sawmills, The Finnish Association of the Timber Merchants, and The Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK) .
According to Green, Finland has always been a country of good architecture and wood construction, and Canada and Finland should be the pioneers of intelligent, green wood construction in the world. He encourages Finland to move forward strongly with wood construction. “Finland has even better preconditions for it than Canada. You have strong support from the government, ready system building solutions, new innovations and technologies. With these strengths Finland can be a pathfinder for the construction of the future,” he says.
Helsinki’s inspiring Wood City
Harald Professner believes that Finland could turn its wood construction know-how into a brand by implementing more projects like the winning proposal for the Wood City site in Helsinki’s Jätkäsaari district. New sites work as reference points and are permanent exhibitions for wood construction. “Finland has the raw materials, know-how and information technology which, when combined with wood, represents the construction of the future,” says Professner.
Both Professner and Green share the objective of developing technology for high-rise wood apartment buildings, which they see as a solution to the massive need for new housing across the world. The experts call for the rapid adoption of renewable materials in the construction industry in order to ensure the availability of materials and resources for future generations.
According to Green, construction is the biggest cause of climate change. “This means a major structural change in the whole system for construction. The construction industry has to choose materials that produce less emissions and methods that use less energy,” he says.