Wood construction is promoted in Finland

In Finland, the manufacture of wood products has long traditions. The choice of products is extensive, from sawn timber to engineered products, interior design products and furniture from top-class designers.

Wood solutions have had a strong position in the construction sector and wood accounts for about 40 per cent of all building materials. In Finland nearly 80 per cent of detached houses have a wooden frame. Wood is also used in structures, windows, doors and finished surfaces, and also at construction sites to build, for example, moulds. Used on internal surfaces, wood improves indoor air quality and levels out moisture variations.

Since the early 1990s, wood-based construction has undergone intense development in Finland, through close co-operation with other EU countries. Development efforts have particularly focused on large-scale timber construction and on enhancing the energy efficiency of buildings. Finnish fire-safety regulations were changed in 1997 to allow the use of wood in building frames and façades for buildings of up to four storeys. Fire codes were again changed in 2011 to also allow the use of wooden frames and façades in residential and office buildings of 5–8 storeys in height. In addition, the possibilities for using wood were extended to cover repairs of and extensions to suburban concrete buildings.

Wood products serve as carbon storages

The aim of increasing the share of long-term carbon-storage products and structures has been set in several national strategies and programmes in Finland. Finland also has a national Wood Building Programme and wood construction is promoted in the Government Programme, the National Energy and Climate Strategy, National Forest Programme and Finnish Bioeconomy Strategy.

National Wood Building Programme

The National Wood Building Programme (2016–2022) is a joint government undertaking coordinated by the Ministry of the Environment aimed at increasing the use of wood in construction. The goal of the program is e.g. to promote the growth of internationally competitive industrial wood construction know-how and production and promote the long-term carbon storage in timber structures. Use of wood can be addeed especially in urban development, public buildings as well as large constructions such as bridges and halls. The programme also aims to diversify and expand different applications for wood while creating as much value added as possible. The Wood Building Programme has five focus areas and more information  is available on the programme's website.


Related links
National Wood Building Programme 2016-2022 (Ministry of the Environment)
Finnish Sawmills Association
Wood products industry and wood construction (Finnish Forest Industries)
Wood construction (bioeconomy.fi)
Finnish Sawmills Association: Statistics

Check out Finland's largest wooden school - forest.fi 14.8.2020
Finnish construction sector is actively decreasing carbon footprint - forest.fi 25.8.2020


Further information

Kaisa Pirkola, Ministerial Adviser 
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Luonnonvaraosasto, Metsä- ja bioenergiayksikkö 0295162350