Wooden apartment buildings should have a 20% market share in Finland by the year 2020, according to Jyri Häkämies, Minister of Economic Affairs. The Finnish government is strongly committed to promoting wood construction through strategic objectives spanning three different ministries. At the moment less than 1% of new apartment buildings are constructed from wood in Finland, compared to almost 20% in Sweden.
Häkämies calls for significantly greater use of wood in both public and private sector construction projects. He believes the use of wood in public sector projects should be doubled, which is possible when the competitive tender selection criteria includes an environmental assessment about the life span of the whole building, starting from the production of the building materials.
“The new fire regulations that came into effect in the spring provide a good basis for increasing the use of wood in apartment block construction. More than 60 municipalities have shown interest in wood construction,” says Häkämies.
Häkämies believes that Finland can also become a strong player in wood construction internationally. “Finland has a lot to give as an expert in modern and energy efficient wood construction that is also distinctive and industrially competitive,” he says.