Finland’s biggest wood construction project to start in Espoo

Espoo will become a showcase for wood construction and know-how, utilising the latest research from Aalto University.

Finland’s Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Aalto University and the City of Espoo have signed a cooperation agreement that will provide a major boost to wood construction and the whole wood products sector in the country. According to the agreement, the parties will develop modern Finnish wood construction and the diverse know-how associated with the sector by bringing together wood architecture, high quality design, resource and energy efficiency, demand and user based innovation activities, and effective commercialization and marketing.

Funded by the ministry, Aalto University will carry out extensive research into wood construction. A pilot environment will be established in Espoo in the area encompassing the districts of Otaniemi, Tapiola and Keilaniemi, where EUR 5 billion will be used for new construction, infill development and repair construction in the next few years. The project will support the multi-faceted development of the wood products sector and promote the growth and internationalization of the sector through new business activities, innovations, new products and services.

“This is the start of a really broad and long-term project where the Tapiola area of Espoo will become a showcase for wood construction and wood know-how. I call on developers and construction companies, together with all the actors in the wood sector, to join this housing and urban development project from the very beginning,” says Jyri Häkämies, Minister of Economic Affairs.

Aalto University is the only university in the world where training and research can be carried out by combining the know-how of experts in wood product technology, wood construction, wood architecture and design. The cooperation between the Finnish state, Aalto University and the City of Espoo will provide a good opportunity to utilise the latest knowledge in wood construction and to create new research environments and topics, according to a statement by the three parties.

“In addition to the construction of private and public buildings, the plans also include the creation of whole residential areas whose identity is strongly shaped by the use of wood materials,” says Jukka Mäkelä, the Mayor of Espoo.

20 February 2012

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