Wood construction is booming in Finland

High demand for wood construction is currently held back by a shortage in the supply of CLT elements.

Plans are in place for the construction of more than 6000 new homes in wood apartment blocks in Finland but the pace of construction is held back by a shortage of CLT elements, according to the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. There is currently no production of CLT elements in Finland and the only supplier is Stora Enso which has its production facilities in Austria.

“There is a huge boom underway. Cities are competing to offer sites for wood apartment buildings but currently we have a shortage of production lines and competition,” says Markku Karjalainen, Development Manager at the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.

Growing market

According to Karjalainen, Finland needs a CLT element factory to improve competition. “If ten percent of apartment buildings are constructed of wood in the future, the market will grow so that at least one factory will be profitable,” he says. There is also the possibility of exporting CLT elements to Russia and the Nordic countries which do not have any CLT element factories.

Helsinki has several large-scale wood construction projects currently underway, including Wood City in the Jätkäsaari district and a wood housing district in Honkasuo for 1600 residents. The cities of Rauma, Turku, Tampere, Vantaa and Jyväskylä are also starting major wood construction projects. According to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, 20 million cubic metres more wood from Finnish forests could be used for construction, the wood industry and bioenergy.

Sources: Helsingin Sanomat, City of Helsinki, Ministry of Employment And the Economy