Wooden apartment blocks could become export success story for Finland

WoodInno, a Competence Centre for Wooden Constructions located in Kouvola, is set to boost the competitiveness of the Finnish wood product industry.

Finland could create an export success story from the construction of wooden apartment blocks, according to Ari Martonen, CEO of Woodfront, a consultancy specialising in the wood products business. He believes that the increasing demand for energy efficiency and carbon storage presents a great opportunity for timber designs to gain market share in the building and construction sector.

Martonen would also like to see a significant boost to the construction of wooden apartment blocks in Finland, where strict construction and fire regulations have held back development so far. He thinks that the Finnish state and municipalities could lead by example in the construction of wooden buildings and by setting town planning zones for wooden constructions.

Woodfront has been selected to lead the WoodInno project in the city of Kouvola in south-eastern Finland, which will be Finland’s first industry-driven Competence Centre for Wood Construction. Its objective is to bring together wood-related education, research and product development and thereby improve the international competitiveness of businesses in the wood product industry.

A timber design competition has been launched to develop and implement the method, process and system solutions for the industrial production of wooden multistory constructions at a pilot site in Kouvola. In the next stage WoodInno hopes to start the design and production of housing solutions based on the industrial production of wooden constructions in Kouvola and their export to the Baltic countries and Russia.

WoodInno is also committed to creating a model for evaluating the environmental impacts wood construction during the entire life cycle of the building materials, for example in the production of building materials and logistics, building processes, use of the buildings and their recyclability after the end of the life cycle.

Sources: Uutispäivä Demari, WoodInno