A new school for 700 students is taking shape in Kaarela, Helsinki. The Finnish-Russian school, to be completed in August 2021, is one of the largest wooden schools in Finland and the first one to be made of renewable wood by Stora Enso.
Stora Enso will supply a total of approximately 1,000 m3 of Cross-laminated timber (CLT) and Laminated veneer lumber (LVL) to the two-storey school building designed by AFKS – Arkkitehdit Frondelius+ Keppo+ Salmenperä. The school’s wooden frame will be delivered and installed by Kuninkaankylän Puurakentajat, a construction company specializing in wooden construction.
“Modern wood construction is moving forward all the time. From experience, I can say that building with wood is easy!” says Jyrki Huttunen, CEO of Puurakentajat.
Puurakentajat has gained experience in modern wood construction through several sites. Their most recent project using wood products by Stora Enso was a nursery school in Lapinmäki, Helsinki, that was completed in November 2019.
Digital tools enhance site operations
The wooden elements for the Finnish-Russian school were installed using the Stora Enso CLT360+ mobile application, a smart element installation assistant that will be publicly available in May 2020.
“Digital services for construction cannot be too complicated. The service must provide just the right information in the right place for it to be used on site. CLT360+ is an illustrative tool and makes it easier to ensure the correct installation order of the elements, especially when working on a tight schedule,” says Jyrki Huttunen.
Stora Enso has also tested CLT360+ together with customers such as Puurakentajat. “Stora Enso has responded quickly to the feedback and made further improvements to the service,” Huttunen praises.
“The goal is to increase the volume of wood construction and at the same time diversify the service offering throughout the construction value chain. Last autumn, we launched the office building concept, and the next concept in the pipeline is focused on school construction,” says Stora Enso Development Manager Antto Kauhanen.
Building decades of carbon storage
Increasing public wood construction will help cities and municipalities achieve their carbon neutrality goals. “The built environment plays a crucial role in mitigating climate change. More than one third of cities’ CO2 emissions are related to the built environment, ”Kauhanen estimates.
Wood absorbs carbon dioxide as it grows and acts as carbon storage throughout its life cycle – that is, for decades, even centuries. Building with wood is a responsible choice and the effects are not only seen in the building but throughout the value chain.
Strong yet lightweight wood material requires less transport, further reducing the environmental impact of construction. Prefabricated and ready-to-install wood elements reduce the amount of waste generated on the construction site, as no extra material is delivered to the site.
“It is encouraging to see the interest of public wood construction to increase. In addition to environmental benefits, wooden buildings have also been found to have a positive impact on the health and well-being of their users,” says Antto Kauhanen.