Renee Puusepp, a senior researcher at the Faculty of Architecture of the Estonian Academy of Arts is convinced mass customisation leads to the more efficient yet flexible construction of wooden buildings. Standardised modules can be combined in various ways, considering the customer’s needs, neighbourhood and surrounding environment. Engineered wood products like Kerto LVL (laminated veneer lumber) are perfect materials for modular construction, as they make construction fast, light and green.
“The construction sector is known for its mediocre performance, especially if we compare it to the production of consumer products like mobile phones or cars. The future of construction is mass customisation, which will bring efficiency and cost savings to construction,” he says in a new Talking Wood video by Metsä Wood. “For example, we can use Kerto LVL to create lightweight yet highly standardised modular building blocks. These can be combined in various ways to create buildings of unique character and design,” he points out.
A more sustainable future with wood
Using more timber in construction is also our ticket to a more sustainable future. “According to scientific research, building with wood consumes much less energy than concrete or steel. To maximise the power of timber to sequester carbon, wooden buildings need to last at least as long as the timber grows. By growing wood, harvesting timber and locking CO2 into buildings, we can cut global CO2 emissions by 30%, and fossil fuel consumption by up to 20%,” he says.
Puusepp thinks we need to design and construct buildings more as products. “To bring the wood construction up to scale where it can really help to slow down climate change, we need to invent new mass-customisable building types that are designed to take into account buildings’ entire life-cycle,” Puusepp says.
Renee Puusepp, who has a PhD in architecture and is a researcher, studied at the Estonian Academy of Arts and the University of East London. His company Slider Studio combines traditional architectural work with software development, and he is also a partner in Creatomus Solutions, a company that focuses on developing technology for the mass adaptation of architecture.
Watch Puusepp’s Talking Wood video about the benefits of mass customisation in wood construction.