Published 2 February 2015 by Stora Enso
It’s around 7 o’clock a.m. as a truck loaded with something looking like a white plastic box arrives at a housing construction site in Kerava, a small community in the greater-Helsinki area in Finland. Opened up, the box reveals half of an apartment soon hanging in the air by a crane.
The apartment module has been delivered from the Stora Enso module construction unit in Hartola, Finland. The Hartola factory, like its sister unit in Pälkäne, produces wooden building modules for two or multi-storey housing. The advantages of wooden modular construction are many: the quality is guaranteed with pre-fabrication and modules save time, labour and costs on the construction site. In addition, wood is a sustainable material that is both renewable and recyclable.
The construction site in Kerava is the third such project of new homes built from wooden modules from construction company Skanska’s and IKEA’s BoKlok concept. Factory production with streamlined processes enables costs at a more affordable level.
”We have learned a great deal about modular concept and developed the process”, says Riku Patokoski Project Development Manager at Skanska. ”The benefits of factory production are clear.”
Functionality with every square meter
”The aim of the BoKlok concept is to offer good quality homes that are reasonably priced. Our customer base varies from young families buying their first homes to elderly people acquiring a functional home for their retirement years,” describes Mira Honka, Marketing coordinator at Skanska.
Sustainability is an important aspect of the concept not just in use of wood but also in efficient floor plans and good location. In BoKlok homes, for example, the sauna is built in the middle of a joint garden for a whole block of homes. The sauna can be used by reservations. This saves square metres in the floor plan, but also energy – and money. A good location just 10 minutes’ walk from the Kerava downtown services and busy train station reduces the use of private cars.
Wood makes the feeling
Luckily the September sun is shining since installation of the modules can only be done when there’s no rain – this guarantees the quality of the homes from start to end.
There’s no doubt why speed is mentioned as one of the greatest advantages of wooden module construction. After some forty minutes on the site, the first two modules of the second floor homes are already in place.
There’s no doubt why speed is mentioned as one of the greatest advantages of wooden module construction. After some forty minutes on the site, the first two modules of the second floor homes are already in place. In total, construction of 32 new homes in the condominium will take 9 months. The housing will be finalised in November for the new inhabitants to move in. Almost all apartments are already sold.
”The customers are giving us good feedback about the floor plans and cost-effectiveness of the BoKlok concept”, reveals Janne Simolin, Construction site manager from Stora Enso working on the site. ”I have also heard how much customers value that their new homes are built with wood. Many people say that they feel wooden buildings have a better “feeling” and indoor climate”, he concludes.