There are good business opportunities in Finland especially for small and medium-sized companies that can develop new operating models in the market for small-scale renovation projects, according to the Finnish magazine Korjausrakentaminen which specializes in renovation construction. The shift towards a renovation and maintenance culture also requires new kind of know-how which is missing from the traditional construction sector in Finland.
The construction renovation sector in Finland has not experienced the same kind of business fluctuations as the new-build sector. While the demand for new construction is not strong, renovation construction is continuing at an accelerating pace.
In 2012, almost EUR 30 billion was spent on construction. The share of renovation construction from the costs of house construction was more than EUR 10 billion. The share of renovation construction is currently lower in Finland compared to many countries in Western Europe.
“At the moment the share of renovation construction is about 50%. In 2015, its share will be 55% and in the future about 60% of the house construction,” says Pekka Pajakka, Chief Research Scientist at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
State support for renovation construction
Thanks to state subsidies for renovation work, many new projects will start next year in Finland. The timing is good because the general volume of construction is currently at a low level and there is ample labour available in the construction sector.
There are currently many development projects underway in Finland for renewing city centres and municipalities. For example, the city of Tampere is aiming to strengthen services by making its urban structure more compact, while in Helsinki there are whole new districts under construction.
Professional work is valued
The situation is ripe for new products and services like the use of industrial methods in renovation construction. “Why should a bathroom renovation take weeks per pipeline when it is possible to do it in ten days without dismantling the structures?” asks Pajakka.
According to research by VTT, specialist contractors have increased their role the most in renovation construction. About 70% of renovation construction is now in the hands of professionals. The work requires new ways of thinking both in terms of the financial and technical challenges involved.