The Pudasjärvi City Council has made a unanimous policy decision to favour wood construction for all public buildings. According to Mayor Tomi Timonen, the political mindset was based on the great significance of the forestry sector in the area. "We wanted to secure the hundreds of industrial jobs offered by the forestry sector, wood processing and construction. Wood construction provides significant cash flow for the area in the form of stump rates, transport, processing and construction. This made it easy to commit to furthering wood construction."
Stora Enso has introduced a modular construction solution based on CLT solid wood elements to the growing fast construction market, enabling buildings to be ready for use in just a few weeks. There is a need for fast construction in many fields in Europe, for example student housing, school construction and now the significant challenge of providing housing for refugees.
Finland's largest log house manufacturer, Kontiotuote Oy, is improving its productivity by investing in design and industrial automation. The company has its own architecture and construction design units that employ as many people as actual production. "We use the industrial Internet, where design directs production. We can already see that strengthening investments in design has improved productivity," says Jalo Poijula, Managing Director of Kontiotuote Oy.
Sweco, an expert consulting company in the built environment and industry, is looking for growth in Central European construction markets. After purchasing Grontmij, Holland's leading construction design and consulting company, Sweco is Europe's leading consulting and engineering company with 14,500 employees in 15 countries.
Construction of the world's tallest wood high-rise will begin this spring in Vienna, Austria. When completed in 2017, the HoHo building will have 24 storeys. Today, the tallest wood high-rise is a 14-storey residential building under construction in Bergen, Norway.
Goals are high for Lapwall Oy, which began delivering wood elements three years ago in Pyhäntä, the most industrialised municipality in Finland. "Our goal is to cut construction costs and time by half and to be number one in wood construction in Northern Europe," Lapwall's Managing Director Jarmo Pekkarinen says without hesitation.
The Wood Prize went to lead designer Anssi Lassila of OOPEAA (Office for Peripheral Architecture) for Jyväskylä's Puukuokka.
Deputy Mayor Anni Sinnemäki wants Helsinki to be a vanguard in wood construction in Finland, both in special projects and construction of multi-storey buildings. Sinnemäki, who is in charge of construction, is pleased with the Supreme Administrative Court's decision giving municipalities the right to zone areas for wood buildings. "I'm truly proud that the city followed through on the judicial process arising from the zoning complaint, and through that paved the way for municipalities to address wood construction in zoning regulations. The decision about Honkasuo now serves as an example for all municipalities to utilise wood construction when they wish," says Sinnemäki.
Eurban is a British company specialising in wood construction. Established in London in 2003, it is the most significant enterprise in Great Britain's limited wood-construction market. The company has realised the majority of about 300 wood-construction projects in Great Britain.
Mäntyharju-based Veisto Oy is a company that serves the wood product industry globally, designing and manufacturing production lines for the sawmill industry. Through its manufacture of HewSaw sawing machines, Veisto has become one of the world’s largest manufacturers of timber production lines and most of its production goes to export. Its key market areas in addition to Finland are Sweden, Russia, North America, Australia, Central Europe and the Baltic countries.

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