Finland Targets Wood as a Major Building Component as It Moves Towards Carbon Neutrality

In Finland, a country where more than three-quarters of its land is covered by forest, wood is a readily available building material. As a result, there is a growing trend in Finland to use wood in buildings throughout the country. It is also in step with the country’s ambitious efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035 and to become Europe’s leading circular economy.

Such a wood project is a five-story school building that is currently under construction. Although the school will not be completed until next year, smooth wood panels already line many of the interior walls. Wood has also been used in load-bearing structures to support the ceiling between the floors and as a cladding on the exterior.

Miimu Airasksinen, an engineer and vice president of development at SRV, the Finnish construction company behind the school’s construction, said, “It’s a more sustainable choice. But we’re also working with wood because wood is a nice material, people appreciate and like wood and the design of wood.”

However, SRV still faces questions about flammability, especially in taller buildings. There is plenty of evidence that CLT performs well in fires though, says Ms. Airaksinen, since it is designed to withstand high heat levels and can be slower to collapse compared to concrete.

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