New construction system for wood apartment buildings in Finland

Market share of wood apartment buildings in Finland is expected to increase rapidly.

A new type of laminated wood beam called Timperipalkki will be used in the construction of two wood apartment buildings in Lieto, south-western Finland. The Finnish company Ojarannan Rakennus Oy will start work on the four-storey buildings this Spring using a construction system based on the Timperipalkki beam that has been developed at the Turku University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with Yläpuu Oy and Markku Karosen Saha.

Timperipalkki is produced from 2-4 lamellas that are glued together vertically along their edges and has been developed to meet the increasingly stringent heat insulation requirements for building walls, floors and ceilings, and the vibration standards for intermediate floors. According to the Turku University of Applied Sciences, the new beam also uses less wood and glue, and is fast to produce.

Increasing the use of wood and boosting wood construction and wood product solutions is one of the main objectives of the Strategic Programme for the Forest Sector (2011-2015) of Finland’s Ministry of Employment and the Economy. The market share of wood apartment buildings in Finland is currently only 1% of new buildings but the objective is to increase the figure to 10% by the end of 2015. With about 30,000 new apartments built in Finland annually, this would require 3000 new wood structure apartments every year.

Many Finnish cities are also interested in developing timber housing areas and want to profile themselves as pioneers of green, energy-efficient construction, and wood construction in particular. The attitude among decision-makers and the public towards wood apartment buildings has become more favourable in recent years.

20 March 2012

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