Multifunctional and reusable event venue

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  • Offsite construction, Kerto LVL, Reusable, Modular construction

Multifunctional wooden temporary building supports circular economy

Finlandia Hall, Helsinki's most famous and architecturally unique venue for conferences and other events, is now flanked by a wooden construction known as Little Finlandia. The pavilion-like building, offering facilities for events and catering, is made 100% from Finnish wood and will provide temporary facilities during Finlandia Hall’s renovation until the end of 2024. The building covers approximately 2,000 m2 and can host events for up to 800 participants. Little Finlandia is a joint project of the City of Helsinki, Finlandia Hall, Aalto University and FM-Haus, and its elements are built with Metsä Wood's Kerto® LVL products.

The aim is to use the building for a variety of purposes

Little Finland has been designed by architects Jaakko Torvinen, Havu Järvelä and Elli Wendelin in collaboration with Professor Pekka Heikkinen and Architects NRT Oy and Arkitekturum Oy. The structural design of Little Finlandia was based on the possibility of reusing the building. Once the renovation of Finlandia Hall has been completed, Little Finlandia can be moved to other locations and used as temporary facilities for schools and daycare centers or for other renovation projects. What also makes the building special is that it looks nothing like temporary constructions usually do.

Wood – a versatile and sustainable construction material

Little Finlandia is a superb example of Finnish wood architecture, blending effortlessly into its surroundings. It is also a frontrunner in wood construction, adhering to the principles of sustainability and the circular economy. Wood is a sustainable construction material, and the use of wooden modules enables the building to be flexibly adapted, ensuring it a long useful life. “Wood stores carbon throughout the building’s life-cycle. For example, the Kerto LVL (laminated veneer lumber) used in Little Finlandia has a carbon storage of 484.5 ton CO2 eq.,” says Lassi Moisio, Sales Manager, from Metsä Wood.

The renovation of Finlandia Hall is to be completed by the end of 2024, so Little Finlandia will serve its current purpose at least until then.  The building can then be used for other purposes. “To ensure that the building meets the requirements for adaptability, transport, and reuse, it must be constructed from durable and premium-quality materials. The elements, made of Kerto LVL products, ensure a long-lived building that withstands heavy use,” says Moisio.

FM-Haus – an expert in wood construction

Little Finlandia was constructed by FM-Haus Oy, a family-owned company established 25 years ago in Jokioinen. The company currently has more than 70 employees and is a turnkey partner in module and wood construction. FM-Haus operates across Finland and has been Metsä Wood’s partner for more than 20 years.

The buildings constructed by FM-Haus are easily adaptable and modifiable while offering the properties and fulfilling the criteria of permanent buildings. FM-Haus wants its buildings to serve people as versatilely and for as long as possible. Another major goal is to put a stop to single-use construction. Metsä Wood and FM-Haus share the same goal: they aim to be sustainable and environmentally friendly operators in the construction value chain.

The construction site period was reduced to a third

Little Finlandia was constructed from wooden volumetric modules, prefabricated by FM-Haus at its element factory in Jokioinen, 120 kilometers north of Helsinki. Modular construction has a considerable impact on the speed of construction compared with on-site construction. 

“In the case of Little Finlandia, modular construction cut the on-site construction time to a third of the usual duration,” says Juhani Sjöman, Managing Director of FM-Haus. 

Kerto LVL – fast, lightweight, and environmentally friendly

The load-bearing structures of the modules used in Little Finlandia are built with several Kerto LVL products, including Kerto LVL S-beams, as well as Kerto LVL Q- and Kerto-Kate panels. Each of these products offers superior usability and properties for their purpose. Although lightweight, the products are very strong and rigid. 

The floor and roof structures feature Metsä Wood’s Kerto LVL RIPA technology. “Thanks to Kerto-RIPA technology, we didn’t need as much Kerto LVL for the elements. This matches our ecological values, as it means a reduced volume of material. Of course, it’s also more cost-effective for us,” says Juhani Sjöman. 

Fire-retardant wood materials

Little Finlandia must meet stringent standards for fire resistance. The Kerto LVL structures used in the building have a fire resistance of 60 minutes. The building also features three fire compartments, bordered by fire dampers that withstand fire for 30 minutes. The ventilation engine room and the intermediate floors were constructed to ensure a fire resistance of 30 minutes. 

The wood panels used in the building have a high fire- and char resistance, and they have been treated with a certified fire retardant to ensure they satisfy the fire safety requirements of European design standards. The building also has an automated fire alarm system and four fire hydrants,” says Jere Kinnunen, the site’s project manager. 

Close cooperation for more than 20 years

The cooperation between Metsä Wood and FM-Haus is based on mutual trust and the wish to develop and boost wood construction. The partners’ joint work has focused especially on developing the structure of Kerto LVL RIPA slabs.

“Metsä Wood offers first-class delivery reliability. We also have a designated sales representative and get personal customer service whenever needed,” says Juhani Sjöman. 

“We have engaged in close cooperation with Metsä Wood for nearly as long as our company has existed. In recent years, our joint development work has mainly focused on multi-storey construction, and we have carried out a lot of product development for various components,” says Juhani Sjöman.