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% of all building materials. Nearly 80% 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.

National wood construction programmes in FInland

In Finland, a National Timber Construction Programme was implemented in 2012–2015. The goal of the programme was to increase the use of domestic wood in construction and to promote high-quality architecture and design with environmentally aware, energyefficient construction that employs intelligent building technology. New targets for timber-based construction were constantly sought in connection with the programme, in collaboration with Finland’s most notable developers: construction companies, municipal decision-makers in growth centres and town planners. Rather than focusing on individual buildings, the aim was to initiate construction projects for larger entities where wood is used in an appropriate and competitive manner.

During 2016–2018, one of the strategic priorities in the Finnish Government’s programme is “Bioeconomy and clean solutions” and one of the key projects is “Wood on the move and new products from the forest”. Concerning the timber production, goal of the key project is to support the development of an internationally competitive industrial wood-building industry and knowledge to support the development of a long-term carbon sink in the built environment and to facilitate the continuity of internationally networked research and development activity in the wood-based building sector.

Finnish Sawmills Association
Finnish Forest Industries: Wood products industry and wood construction
Ministry of the Environment: Building


Further information

Kaisa Pirkola, neuvotteleva virkamies 
MMM, Luonnonvaraosasto, Metsä- ja bioenergiayksikkö 0295162350   forename.surname@mmm.fi