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How to Build with Wood

For Nordic Municipalities who want to explore the possibilities that wood offers in building greener, healthier and more liable urban areas, this How to Build with Wood guide will give you the introduction. The guide is divided into the different processes there will be in a municipality that consider or is already using wood. The different sections contain relevant links and resources at a national level, where you can learn more about the situation where you are.

Experienced cities

The Nordic countries and municipalities have different levels of experience and knowledge when it comes to building with wood. This is as in many other part of the value chain very much linked to the local tradition and experience. So in countries with a large share of forest more municipalities are focusing on using wood. Some of the more experienced municipalities have also included the use of wood in construction in their strategies. Local - and national initiatives are also established in order to share knowledge.

Municipalities with little or no experience and knowledge about wood construction can seek inspiration from more experienced cities and municipalities, which are happy to share knowledge and experiences.

In Norway a national initiative for municipalities and regions “Mayors for wood”. The initiative aimed at all mayors to influence each municipality so that all municipal buildings should be considered built in wood.

Based on the Swedish government's national timber construction strategy 2005–2008, the basis for Trästad Sverige was created and in order to contribute the the Swedish national climate goals the commitment has increased.

Below you can find more information on “Mayors for wood” and Trästad Sverige.

’Wood construction is an important foundation for business, reasearch and the education sector in our region and for community building in general’
Britt-Inger Brisádottir, Development Strategist sustainable construction , Skellefteå Municipality.

Strategy

Some Nordic countries have developed strategies for increasing the use of wood in construction. Effective strategies can have a huge impact on the amount of wood construction projects. An example is Trästad Sweden, which is funded by the government to increase knowledge about wood construction.

Tender and procurement policies can be defined to promote sustainable buildings and cities. Several Nordic cities and municipalities have used LCA or carbon footprint criteria as a targeted policy instrument to guide the development of sustainable buildings and to achieve more wood in construction. See more about LCA at the NoMu website by following this link.

Follow the links below to read more about the different strategies and procurement policies for some Nordic municipalities.

’The interest in wood building is increasing throughout not only the construction industry but even with decision makers at all levels of government. They have come to realize the importance of wood in construction to actively mitigate climate change. Trästad, Sverige contributes to advance this development through the dissemination of knowledge, exchange of experience and collaboration.’
Jessica Becker, Architect SAR/MSA, Head of Operations, Trästad Sverige

Architecture

There is a huge potential for increasing the use of wood in multi-storey and large-scale buildings. Inspiration can be drawn from past projects and finished buildings. Wood buildings have reached heights over 80 meters in Brumunddal, Norway and entire city districts have been built in Helsinki, Finland.

Nordic cities are growing due to urbanization and the resulting city densification means that there is a huge potential for multi-story wood buildings especially in the 3-10 story range.

Links to historic projects are found below.

Information websites

Information websites, which give you general technical knowledge about wood construction, are available in most of the Nordic countries. While it is a must to familiarise yourself with the information local to you, inspiration can also be sought from your Nordic neighbors. There are links to the different national information websites below.

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