Finnforest's Multi-Storey System selected for one of Finland's largest wooden buildings; development is part of project in Helsinki to develop building method

METSÄ, Finland , December 13, 2010 (press release) – A block of wooden multi-storey apartment buildings to be built in Helsinki's Viikki will be based on the Finnforest Multi-Storey System. The project is part of the Developing Multi-Storey Building Programme of the City of Helsinki, and has Etera as the real estate investor and Peab as the main contractor. The block will have in total 113 apartments.

The block of wooden multi-storey buildings in Viikki's Latokartano is one of the largest wooden multi-storey building projects in Finland so far. The project's participants aim to create an industrially-realised modular multi-storey building system based on modern wood composites for the residential construction market in Finland. The system is able to combine fast construction solutions, eco-efficiency and commercial competitiveness.

"We already have five years of experience of the system in Finland, so the question is not about a pilot or test project in wood construction," says Mika Kallio, Senior Vice President of the Building Products business line in Metsäliitto Wood Products Industry, Finnforest. "Right from the beginning we are aiming at long-term and profitable industrial production, in which Finnforest Multi-Storey System can be utilised as such not only in residential construction, but also in office and commercial construction with flexibility for changes.

"To Etera, the Viikki project is an investment target for which we seek stable and competitive profit. Wooden multi-storey buildings are a part of future construction. We want to be forerunners promoting their construction in Finland. Metsäliitto Wood Products Industry, Finnforest has developed a system which makes the construction of wooden multi-storey buildings a line of business," says CEO Hannu Tarkkonen of Etera Mutual Pension Insurance Company.

"Peab has already had very good experiences in the construction of wooden houses over a longer period in Sweden. We will utilise this experience in the construction of Viikki's Latokartano. We see a lot of potential in wooden house construction, both in a commercial and an ecological sense. We want to be a part of this development," says CEO Petri Suuperko from Peab Oy.

The Finnforest Multi-Storey System includes a Kerto frame, with the roof, external walls and intermediate floors supplied as elements. The system supports cost-effective multi-storey construction because it speeds up the construction schedule, decreases the amount of work at the site, and minimises the amount of wasted material. The Finnforest Multi-Storey System is price competitive in comparison to concrete-based systems, and a wooden frame also makes for easier implementation of changes and repairs during the building's life-cycle than a concrete frame.

The wooden multi-storey apartment project of Viikki supports the city's targets of promoting ecological construction and the development of multi-storey apartment buildings. "We are receiving good feedback in residential surveys from the people living in wooden houses in Viikki," says project director Heikki Rinne of the Helsinki city administration.

An wooden multi-storey building is more eco-efficient and has a smaller carbon footprint than a multi-storey building based on competing construction materials, because the manufacture and transport of wooden construction parts and the construction of the building itself consume less energy. The carbon dioxide emissions are also smaller. In addition, while growing, the wood has absorbed carbon dioxide from the air, storing it in wooden constructions throughout their life-cycle.

The wooden multi-storey buildings in Latokartano, Viikki, will be located in a quarter with Von Daehnin katu, Nils Westermarckin kuja, and Agronominraitti as the boundaries. The project will include six houses with over 1,000 floor square metres each. The houses will each have three or four storeys, a staircase and a lift. There will be a total of 113 apartments with an average area of 52 square metres. The apartments are privately-financed rented apartments. Their construction will start in the beginning of 2011 and the first houses are planned to be ready within a year.

Latokartano block of wooden multi-storey buildings in Viikki

-- Is a part of the "Developing Multi-Storey Building Programme " of the City of Helsinki, aiming to develop diverse and resident-oriented types of housing, reasonably priced apartments with flexibility for changes, and cosy gardens.
-- Developer: Etera Mutual Pension Insurance Company
-- Main contractor: Peab Oy
-- Finnforest Multi-Storey System: Multi-storey construction system based on the use of beam and post frames and the roof and intermediate floor elements. Main material is Finnforest Kerto: beam and panel product made of softwood veneer by gluing, used in load-bearing structures requiring very high strength.
-- The planning area: approximately 11,000 square metres
-- Total floor area: 6,970 square metres
-- Types and amounts of apartments: 113 privately-financed rented apartments
-- The construction of the area starts in the beginning of 2011
-- The area has been planned to be ready within a year from the start of the construction

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