"The programme of the next Government coalition must incorporate measures to promote wood construction,” Director General Timo Jaatinen said at the Finnish Forest Industries Federation’s decision-maker seminar in Oulu on 21 March.
As the energy-efficiency of buildings improves, the manufacture of construction materials will account for an increasing share of overall construction-related carbon dioxide emissions. The use of more wood would enable a substantial reduction to the negative environmental impact of building.
It is also necessary to start evaluating the environmental effects of construction according to the actual lifespan of buildings. The effects of manufacturing and transporting construction materials and intermediate building products must also be taken into consideration when performing environmental impact assessments, especially in the case of public building projects.
Investments in wood construction can help create tens of thousands of jobs all over Finland. The amount of potential new jobs is so significant that increasing the utilisation of wood should automatically be placed at the centre of employment policy.
Finland can become a model country for wood construction if the use of wood is given greater consideration on all levels of construction-related education. This has to be done to elevate wood to an equal standing with other construction materials. The supplementary education of construction industry employees also needs to be focused on.
Excellent standards in the field of wood construction should be promoted and safeguarded through the establishment of professorships in wood construction and fire safety. At the moment, our country’s universities provide just a single professorship in wood architecture.
Timo Jaatinen, Director General, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 6600
Antro Säilä, Director (Business Environment and Innovation), Finnish Forest Industries Federation, +358 9 132 6633, +358 40 589 1891