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Dutch and Finns learning wood construction from each other

The possibilities and challenges of wood construction in both the Netherlands and Finland were the topics for a Timber Transition in Construction Industry webinar on Thursday October 7th, 2021.

There is a global wish to increase the use of timber in construction, also in countries not traditionally into forest and wood. This trend is expressing a general need to find solutions for a sustainable way of construction. Wood construction is climate and environmental smart, as wooden buildings are long-term carbon storages. A great deal of development potential can be found in the wood construction industry.

To make this sustainable method of construction more common, cooperation in Europe is needed. This goes for sharing best practices and developing the legislation for wood construction.

– Many questions still need to be answered. How will the building standards change when wood construction increases? What about insurances and knowledge? Will there be enough material for all sectors and where does it come from? A pressure to increase the use of timber is felt in other industries and sectors, as well, as reflected upon by Ms Venla Virkamäki, Senior Adviser at the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council.

– We wanted to start looking for answers together, because we realized that we share the same questions in the air. We came to a mutual understanding that we can surely learn from each other. There is traditional know-how of wood construction in Finland, but on the other hand, Finns admire Dutch architecture and urban development, as stated by Mr Martjin Adelaar, Deputy Ambassador from the Netherlands Embassy in Finland.

Finland and the Netherlands share ambitious goals for wood construction
The Netherlands is aiming for its constructed environment to be circular by 2050. Its goal in construction is to half the emissions by 2030 and to be emission-free by 2050. When it comes to circular economy and cleantech, wood construction belongs to a new wider concept of construction in the Dutch capital. Amsterdam strives to half its use of new raw materials by 2030 and aims to be 100 % circular by 2050.

Wood construction is also one of the steps towards Finland’s climate neutrality, the aim is for 2035. It is also significantly relevant to the climate neutrality goals of the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region. A growing use of timber construction offers the possibility to increase the export of know-how of both wooden products and construction.

For the entire Finland, the aim is to increase the use of wood in all kinds of construction by 50 % during this term of government 2019–2023. Helsinki-Uusimaa shares this aim and strives to double its regional wood construction by 2023.

Webinar recording available

The webinar on timber transition was arranged by the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council, the Netherlands Embassy in Finland and the Regional Business Development Team of the Netherlands. Its target group was especially those working in the public sector or the construction industry. The participants and speakers came from both Finland and the Netherlands.

For more information, please contact:

Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council:

Venla Virkamäki, Senior Adviser, EU Affairs, venla.virkamaki@uudenmaanliitto.fi

Netherlands Embassy in Finland:

Ilona Jääskeläinen, Communications & Public Diplomacy Officer, hel-ea@minbuza.nl

Margot Roose, Business Development Officer, Finland & Baltics, margot.roose@minbuza.nl

NL - Netherlands
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