Increasing the Kerto® LVL-based element construction with European wide partner network

Wood construction is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. Wood products have become more competitive in residential construction in particular, due to the advanced degree of modularity and prefabricated elements. Through its partner network in Europe, Metsä Wood is increasing the amount of Kerto LVL-based element construction.

The construction industry is undergoing a major transition, with construction moving from building sites to off-site manufacturing. Industrially standardised products increase the quality and efficiency of construction. The turnaround time on building sites is shortened and the amount of errors reduced, and there is hardly any wastage of materials.

Metsä Wood has been making efforts to find long-term partners for industrial wood construction. The aim is to develop an ecosystem based on Metsä Wood’s Kerto LVL (laminated veneer lumber) products.

“Metsä Wood’s core business will be industrial-scale LVL manufacturing, and our partner network will carry out a lot of product development based on our products. This arrangement will benefit the growth of the entire ecosystem. Cooperation is an important step in expanding the wood construction sector – including urban construction, where the greatest potential is,” says Jussi Björman, Director, Business Development at Metsä Wood.

Possibilities of laminated veneer lumber

Values guide Metsä Group's operations

Building with wood is the shape of things to come

Metsä Wood has long-term supply and cooperation agreements with LVL element builders. The Finnish operator Lapwall is a good example of such company. Metsä Wood supplies fixed-length Kerto® LVL products from which its partners manufacture roof, floor and wall elements, as well as complete modules. Dupac, a Belgian manufacturer, is one of the partner companies producing Kerto-Ripa® elements.

Kerto-Ripa elements design system is an innovation by Metsä Wood that allows long spans without supporting walls or columns. It is based on Metsä Wood’s Kerto LVL wooden panels, which feature outstanding dimensional stability. The Finnish manufacturer developed the production of rib and box elements through a defined connection of timber; the use of these elements opens up new options in wood construction spanning lengths of up to 24 metres.

Modular wood construction

Partnership establishes growth in both industry and companies

Lapwall, a specialist of element-based wood building, believes in the logic and assembly chain approach that have been adopted from the automobile industry: in industrial wood construction, the work steps are clustered together and prepared in advance. All that remains to be done on the building site is to connect the parts.

“If each building is a prototype, then things become impossible,” says Jarmo Pekkarinen, CEO at Lapwall. “Our product development is based on the concept of having a range of models, with each building being assembled from prefabricated parts. This allows optimal cost, quality and speed. Thanks to this approach, we can promise developers and investors that a building project can be completed in as little as three weeks.”

Wood elements in partnership

Ecosystem is based on win-win-cooperation

Partnership with Metsä Wood has also benefitted Dupac, company that is specialised in prefabricated wood elements. Quality checks, both internal and external, ensure that the Kerto-Ripa elements that Dupac manufactures have the features defined in the European Technical Assessment (ETA). This confirmation has now been provided by the CE certification from the SKH institute which means, that Dupac can offer CE-certified Kerto-Ripa roof and floor elements in the Belgian market. Through this registration the demand originating from multi-storey construction can be met in particular.

“For us, the new production unit for certified Kerto-Ripa element production is a milestone. This will therefore allow us to establish ourselves as Metsä Wood’s partner in the Belgian market, as well as in technically challenging multi-storey housing and large-scale commercial construction or even property construction projects,” says Dupac’s Managing Director Marc Cuyvers.

“We see ourselves well positioned in the partnership with Metsä Wood, and we are very confident about the future. We have the CE-certified production facility for Kerto-Ripa elements in Belgium with the potential in the market for residential buildings, schools, indoor swimming pools and sports facilities, offices and other commercial and public buildings,” Cuyvers adds.