Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2016 - Page 64

T he Finns build the houses for their families out of wood, build their summer cottages out of wood. But when it comes to large-scale construction – such as apartment buildings – it’s been concrete and steel all the way. It has been clear for a long time that the greatest potential for growth in wood construction lies in the building of multi-storey structures. As global climate, environment, and natural-resource issues are becoming more and more important, wood construction is rising on the agenda of the decisionmakers around the country – and new markets are opening up for wood. Fire Hazard No Longer Despite the fact that concrete has dominated the multi-storey building market for the past 50 years, wood has been building a 62 Nordicum comeback, if slowly, since the early 1990s. Development efforts have focused particularly on acquiring the know-how necessary to build multi-storey wooden buildings and on enhancing buildings’ energy-efficiency. What’s more, Finland’s fire-safety regulations were changed in 1997 to facilitate more extensive use of wood in building frames and façades for buildings of up to four storeys. The fire codes were changed again in April 2011, to allow for the use of wood even in residential and office buildings of 5–8 storeys with a wooden frame and facade. In addition, the possibilities for using wood were extended to cover repairs of (and extensions to) concrete suburban buildings. Carbon 360 And then there are the new energy-effi- ciency regulations which entere [