Building with radically less

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With more than half of the world’s population living in cities, the future of sustainable housing needs to be solved in the context of urban environments. Building in increasingly dense areas while meeting the sustainability demands sets new requirements for the materials we build with. We need material-efficient solutions that are not only easy to handle during construction, but also help to accelerate the circularity of the industry.

Less emissions and more living space
In addition to choosing the right materials to build with, material efficiency is one of the key strategies in transitioning towards building sustainably. Going forward, the construction industry needs to be able to build and renovate using radically less materials. Renewable and material-efficient solutions done with engineered wood products are a proven choice.

Kerto LVL® is a compelling option to steel and concrete but outperforms also other wood-based solutions. The strength to weight ratio close to steel allows to build load-bearing structures with less material, leading to lighter elements, less emissions and more square meters for habiting the building. 

“For example, in a load-bearing exterior wall element, switching from 140 mm thick CLT to a 69 mm thick Kerto LVL Q panel with equivalent load-bearing capacity means a 51% reduction in the use of wood material, resulting in a 71 mm thinner wall element. For an apartment with 15 meter of outer wall, this reduction in thickness means 1 square meter additional floor area to sell or rent”, explains Håkan Arnebrant, Sales Development Manager from Metsä Wood.

Material efficiency throughout the lifecycle
Building industry needs to work continuously to improve the material efficiency from raw materials to manufacturing, transportation, construction, and end of life of the solutions. Metsä Wood uses wood, traceable and PEFC certified (PEFC/02-31-03) grown in Nordic forests that are managed according to regenerative forestry principles. 1

The production respects the valuable resources and it has been engineered to be as efficient as possible: Every part of a tree is fully utilised for the most value-giving use and the amount of waste is minimised. LVL is manufactured to exact dimensions, minimizing cross cutting and sawing waste. Production is almost self-sufficient in energy and all the excess renewable energy is sold to the grid in the form of district heat to local communities. Currently up to 96% of the production side streams are utilised. 2

Building with wood means reduced emissions also during transportation and construction. Being lightweight, the wooden elements can be transported in larger quantities at once, lifted with smaller cranes and require altogether lighter foundations, reducing the need for materials like concrete. 3 

Kerto LVL based solutions are extremely durable and allow to build buildings that last long, keeping the materials in use and by that storing carbon. At the end of a life of a building, the wooden elements can be reused elsewhere, recycled into new building products or the entire building can be relocated and repurposed. 

The material efficiency is a shared challenge—the entire industry needs to come together to rethink how to plan, design and build in a way that allows to cut the amount of raw material and ensure nature’s capacity for renewal.

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For more information, please contact:

Henni Rousu, Marketing Director, Metsä Wood
tel. +358 40 554 8388,

Metsä Group

Metsä Group is leading the way in advancing the bioeconomy. We invest in growth, bioproduct development and a fossil free future. The raw material for our products is renewable wood from sustainably managed northern forests. We focus on the growth sectors of the forest industry: wood supply and forest services, wood products, pulp, fresh fibre paperboards, as well as tissue and greaseproof papers.  

Metsä Group’s annual sales amount to approximately EUR 7 billion, and we have around 9,500 employees in 30 countries. Our international Group has its roots in the Finnish forests: our parent company is Metsäliitto Cooperative which is owned by more than 90,000 forest owners.  

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Metsä Wood

Metsä Wood is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of engineered wood products. We process valuable log wood into environmentally friendly products for the construction and transport industries, which are both megatrend-driven businesses of the future. Our main products are Kerto® LVL, birch and spruce plywood and further processed sawn timber. Material-efficient wood products store carbon and play an important role in combatting climate change.  
In 2022, our sales totalled approximately EUR 0.7 billion, and we have around 1,550 employees. Metsä Wood is part of Metsä Group. 

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