Svenska Takelement takes sustainable construction forward with Kerto LVL

Svenska Takelement is one of Sweden's largest prefabricated suppliers of wooden roof elements. In co-operation with Metsä Wood, they supply sustainable roof elements, using Kerto® LVL, to high-performance projects in the construction industry. The company supplied roof and wall elements for the famous innovation project in Bålsta, an entirely wood-built logistics centre, and now it hopes more people will invest in sustainable wood construction.
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  • Kerto LVL, Offsite construction

From idea to innovative wooden roof element

Svenska Takelement was founded in 2019 when Göran Petersén, with over 40 years of experience in the construction industry, and his three daughters were looking for new challenges in their careers. The family business, with its own production in Västerås, has become one of the largest suppliers of prefabricated wooden roof elements in Sweden. It supplies elements to construction companies that build schools, logistics centres, multi-purpose halls, office buildings, hospitals and residential buildings.

"I wanted to do something that was better than site construction, as prefabrication has enormous advantages, both from a moisture point of view and in terms of sealing the house quickly. I wanted to create a wooden element that could meet all the challenges with spans and that met all the fire safety requirements," says Göran Petersén, CEO of Svenska Takelement. 

Kerto LVL fulfils the requirements

Svenska Takelement and Metsä Wood have a long-standing co-operation where the contact between Göran Petersén and Mats Blomberg, Country Manager at Metsä Wood Sweden, goes back even further.

"I have had contact with Mats for over 30 years from my previous roles in the construction industry. When we wanted to develop a new roof element, we discussed back and forth to find the best solution for the market. The result was to use Kerto LVL from Metsä Wood as the frame of our roof element," says Göran Petersén. 

Göran Petersén is an innovator who always wants to improve. "We have a great relationship that has contributed to the good co-operation between Svenska Takelement and Metsä Wood, where we supply our Kerto LVL S-beams to their roof elements," says Mats Blomberg. 

Svenska Takelement has recognised the many benefits of Metsä Wood's Kerto LVL, which is material efficient as less material is used compared to CLT products to produce the same type of element. Other advantages that Svenska takelement sees with Kerto LVL are its low weight in relation to its strength and long spans, which allow them to prefabricate roof elements up to 18 metres in length. And so the roof elements are customised to the customer's specific needs. The structure of the roof elements with LVL beams also makes it possible to run ventilation pipes in the elements, which is not possible in CLT, where ventilation pipes must be run on the outside of the CLT panel, for example. At the same time, Svenska Takelement can prepare the elements for windows, domes and lift stops directly in the factory in Västerås. 

"This means that you get a tight house much faster than if you had built the roofs on site," says Göran Petersén. 

Roof elements that can withstand high fire safety

Since Kerto LVL is used in the roof elements, Svenska Takelement gets good strength values in terms of load-bearing capacity and stiffness. The element, which uses a homogeneous rectangular cross-section beam, achieves a fire rating of REI90, which means it can withstand a fire for 90 minutes without adding a fire plasterboard. 

Roof elements in logistic centre built with wood

The innovation project in Bålsta has been a high-profile project in Sweden, with the construction of a logistics centre in Bålsta, north of Stockholm. The logistics hall is built entirely in wood and Svenska Takelement has been responsible for the delivery of both roof and wall elements - where they chose to use Kerto LVL.  

“It is a challenge to change the traditional construction method, especially in industrial buildings. The innovation project in Bålsta was a pioneer in showing that it is possible to choose wooden elements over other materials to meet environmental requirements and be more sustainable," says Charlotta Tingstedt, sales manager at Svenska Takelement.

The market for timber construction is growing due to increased environmental requirements for new buildings. 

"The Kerto LVL beam is stronger than glulam, which is perfect for our product, which can handle the long spans that our customers demand in their projects. This makes it easier to choose wood over other materials," says Charlotta Tingstedt. 

More sustainable construction in the future

By building more with wood, the industry's climate emissions can be reduced. As a result, Svenska Takelement has seen an increased demand for wooden elements since the company was founded. To build more sustainably, they believe that more projects like the innovation project in Bålsta are needed, where wood is used in the construction.

"More large projects should be built with wood, even if you shouldn't be afraid to interact with other elements. But from a sustainability perspective, it is important that we build more in wood in the future, says Göran Petersén.