Labor shortages and increased demand through urbanization has led to a global housing shortage. The construction industry hasn’t changed much in the last 50 years but to meet this growing challenge, it must evolve to build houses in a way that’s faster, cheaper and more environmentally friendly. To meet this challenge, Metsä Wood’s Mikko Saavalainen, SVP, Business Development, and Juha Kasslin, VP, Product Management, show how off-site construction ticks all these boxes.
Eco-friendly Home Construction
The construction industry currently produces 30% of global carbon emissions and this is not sustainable. Wood provides a wonderful solution because it is the only building material that actually stores carbon. Wood is renewable and, when the building reaches the end of its life, its wood components can be reused or recycled. Building with wood offers a renewable, eco-friendly alternative. The Metsä Wood mill in Lohja is 100% energy self-sufficient; burning sawdust the mill produces to not only power the plant, but also the surrounding community.
Faster Home Construction
Moving the construction industry to off-site manufacturing allows building elements to be assembled in factory conditions resulting in more accurate builds. Automation means building modules are built faster while on-site assembly can be done on much tighter timelines. Indoor construction means no delays due to adverse weather. Not only is onsite construction time reduced, but there is less opportunity for errors. Construction sites are safer too which results in fewer workplace injuries.
Metsä Wood’s cut-to-size Kerto LVL products mean that there is less waste. With more efficient building, and less labor required, homes can be constructed for less. Kerto LVL products have excellent strength-to-size ratios which means less material is required.
“The Kerto LVL ecosystem means a network of companies with who we can together develop and grow the use of wood elements in construction,” says Laura Mattila, VP, Sales Development Metsä Wood. “The strength of the ecosystem is based on everybody concentrating on their core competence. The sum of this is more than each party trying to do everything by themselves.”
Open Source Wood Collaboration
To promote the use of wood elements in construction, Metsä Wood has launched Open Source Wood. This platform allows construction professionals to share ideas and designs free of charge. Eric Karsh, Equilibrium Consulting: “We fundamentally need to challenge the way we build. Timber technology is now progressing so fast that knowledge transfer is often the bottleneck. Those of us who have expertise have a responsibility to share, and the fastest way is an open source approach promoting knowledge and innovation from all corners of the world.”