An international concluding seminar was organised at Koli to wrap up the RoadShow of wood construction and energy-efficient construction held on 11 and 12 May. The seminar was attended by over a hundred operators from various fields with an interest in the use of wood materials and wood construction. During the two-day seminar, there were talks on the potential for increasing the use of wood materials, the most recent solutions in the field of wood construction and the ways in which energy-efficient construction requirements and the new fire safety regulations favour wood constructions.
Introduction of the New Architectural Plans for Koli Cultura
Architect Juha Mäki-Jyllilä from JKMM Architects presented the architectural plans for the Koli Cultura centre as well as recent architectural photos where wood materials play the starring role. The roofs of the wooden buildings will be made of grass, the bases will be made of stone, and solar panels are planned for the large window surfaces.
“The goal of the Koli Cultura project is to use wood and forest materials in more versatile ways. In a virginal landscape, we will construct a centre that takes into consideration the characteristics of the terrain, using buildings that respect and do not disrupt the national landscape. The buildings will not act as a wall – the hilly landscape of Koli rises up above them. Even the outer walls of the buildings will follow the shape of the hills. Instead of lawns, there will be flower meadows and pasture lands in the courtyards, as they fit in with the nature of the site,” Mäki-Jyllilä describes.
According to the architect, the benefit of wood is that it is an ecological material. Wood will be used in a way that it is resistant to time and the impact of the surrounding area. Thanks to the fact that the traditional grass roofs of the buildings comply with modern requirements, run-off rainwater will reach the ground more slowly. The terraces will face south, which is an energy-efficient solution.
The Many Uses of Wood
The Chairman of the City Council of Lieksa, Lauri Kähkönen, emphasised the importance of clean forests. Wood is much more than simply a raw material, and thanks to Everyman's Rights in Finland, living trees offer us endless possibilities in forests.
“We must ensure the diversity and growth of forests, since tourists want to come to Finland to see living nature, not felled forests. The traditional forest cluster is changing, but the ecosystem services provided by forests are priceless,” Kähkönen emphasised.
According to Kähkönen, the wood processing industry still has good prospects for the future, and some potential uses of wood remain unexplored. Kähkönen and many others who spoke at the seminar estimate that wooden blocks of flats will become increasingly common in the future. Kähkönen believes that Finland could be at the forefront of these developments, reducing the environmental damage caused by the construction industry. The City of Lieksa is in a good position, since it has significant raw material resources and business know-how at its disposal.
The 'Pelkät puutuotteet eivät riitä! Mitä muuta tarvitaan?' ('Simple wooden products aren't enough! What else do we need?') panel discussion, hosted by Compere Keimo Lehtiniemi, dealt with the potential uses of wood and the possibilities for wood construction. It was suggested that public encouragement for innovations, more extensive training and more effective marketing and communication among various operators could help promote wood construction.
“Internationally, Finnish wood architecture is highly visible. For instance, Koli Cultura is a top designer project that gives Finland plenty of positive international publicity. We must learn how to use such know-how in international marketing,” says CEO Mikko Viljakainen from Puuinfo Ltd.
MP Kimmo Tiilikainen reminded participants that Finland must also look to the forest for an intelligent use of natural resources. This means wood construction as well as wooden and organic products and bioenergy. Timo J. Hokkanen from the North Karelia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment brought into focus the value of unfelled trees.
“The Koli Cultura project that also develops wood construction could not have been drawn up without the surrounding trees – the Koli National Park and the rest of the natural landscape. In addition to developing wood construction, we must also remember the recreational and cultural value of wood,” Hokkanen pointed out.
The seminar organised by the City of Lieksa’s Puuakatemia (Wood Academy) project, the Joensuu Science Park and the Centre of Expertise Programme ended the tour of seminars held in various parts of Finland. Partners of the tour included Puuinfo Ltd, the action plan ERA17 for an Energy-Smart Built Environment 2017 and the WoodFinland network project. The tour of seminars was destined for municipal decision-makers, city planners, construction supervisors, rescue authorities and various operators interested in wood construction, such as designers, building developers, construction company representatives and the media.
Communications Manager Tarja Waltzer, tel. +358 400 853 843, firstname.lastname@example.org