Unlike steel and concrete, wood is currently the only renewable building material. However, we need to re-engineer our familiar ways of thinking of wood and construction. Wood is not only an integral part of how our future is built (1), it’s also important to use the latest technology and insight on how wood is used. Frankly said, the effective use of sustainably produced wood products may have an important role in what could save Earth from material scarcity.
Expert in wood construction, Matti Kuittinen says that one solution is to reuse materials and spaces and only after that build with sustainability in mind. That is where Nordic expertise and sustainably maintained forests and PEFC certified (PEFC/02-31-03) wooden Kerto® LVL products may be a big part of the solution, as it is material-efficient and is needed less than the other alternative products (2).
A study conducted (3) in the Nordic countries established five criteria for circular economy in the construction industry; reducing use of resources, waste prevention, increasing recycling rates, use of biobased and renewable materials, and use of recyclable materials. Kerto LVL ticks boxes on all of the criteria. Not only are the materials sustainable, they also contribute to the future of materials as for every tree Metsä Wood uses, four new ones are planted.
Kerto LVL is laminated veneer lumber, a material efficient and light product that offers many possibilities (4). The production is efficient, raw materials, energy and water are used as efficiently as possible and our mills aim to be self-sufficient on bioenergy and energy. Kerto LVL derives its high strength from its homogeneous bonded structure, which means it is needed less than other materials due to it having an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and working well in efficient building processes and furthermore it enables material efficient solutions in building structures. As a thin material, Kerto LVL is also easier to transport, and especially in urban areas where space is limited. In elements the Kerto LVL panel thickness is about –50 % compared to CLT.