According to Häkämies, one of the government’s objectives is to make wood construction a competitive alternative in large-scale construction projects. In his view, healthy competition between different building materials and methods benefits the whole society.
Sixten Sunabacka, Director of the ministry’s Strategic Programme for the Forest Sector, noted that the position of wood construction will become stronger as there is a greater commitment to reducing the carbon footprint in the construction sector. “The aim is to increase the market share of wood apartment buildings from under 1% to 10% during the term of this government. There are major new projects involving wood apartment buildings around Finland that will create about 5700 apartments,” he said.
According to Sunabacka, an even bigger market opportunity for wood construction consists of the facade and energy repairs required in older apartment blocks, and the addition of new storeys to concrete apartment buildings. These could also offer profitable export business opportunities. New surface treatments for facades and automatic fire extinguisher systems based on water mist have also contributed to the increasing popularity of wood construction.
The credibility of wood construction has been boosted by the participation of the large wood industry companies as suppliers of the frame systems used in wood apartment buildings, according to Markku Karjalainen, Development Manager at the National Wood Construction Programme. He is now calling for updating the training in wood construction at all levels in Finland so that it is possible to meet increasing demand for large-scale projects.
Source: Ministry of Employment and the Economy