19.01.2016

Finland needs foreign companies to boost wood construction sector growth

Increasing use of wood as a construction material is creating new business opportunities in Finland, says Sari Toivonen, Senior Advisor at Invest in Finland.

Invest in Finland is looking for major international wood construction actors, partnerships and investments to boost the country’s growing wood construction sector. “For example, in Central Europe there are different kinds of system and design know-how, different operating methods, business models and wood use than we have in Finland. All this is a source of learning that strengthens know-how and supports the development of the whole sector,” says Sari Toivonen.

The optimistic outlook for the wood construction sector in Finland is evident in the major investments made by Finnish companies in recent years that include factories in different parts of the country. For, example, Stora Enso has established factories in Hartola and Varkaus. Koskisen Oy, VVR Wood Ot and Metsä Wood have started wood element factories in Heinola. Other investments include Lapwall’s wood element factory in Tyrnävä, the CLT centre of expertise and Lappia test factory in Kemi, Elementit-E Oy in Kouvola, CrossLam Kuhmo Oy in Kuhmo, Pölkky Oy in Kuusamo, and Olament Oy in Lapinlahti.

Good prospects for further growth

The construction of wooden apartment buildings in Finland is expected to increase significantly over the next few years. Currently there are almost 7000 apartments in wooden apartment buildings at various stages of planning. If all the plans are realised, Finland will reach its target where wooden apartment buildings will make up 10% of the total volume of new apartment building construction. The share of wood construction in public building projects is also on the rise.
In addition to new apartment building projects, other growth opportunities for increasing the use of wood include the construction of additional stories and the energy efficient repair construction of apartment building facades in the suburbs, halls and other large buildings, wooden bridges, and garden and environmental building projects.

Access to Nordic and Russian markets

“Finland is an interesting market at the early growth stage of the wood construction sector. From a Central European perspective this opportunity is not just about Finland but the Nordic region as a whole as well as the Russian market, for which Finland is a good bridgehead,” says Toivonen.

The Finnish government is committed to promoting wood construction as well as clarifying and, if necessary, reforming building regulations that may hold back the use of wood in the construction sector. “From the perspective of foreign companies, Finland could become an interesting test environment for modern wood construction,” says Toivonen.

Source: Invest in Finland