Can sculptor Essi Renvall’s granddaughter become anything but an artist? ”Well, at least in my case this tradition is continuing,” Ilona Rista says with a laugh. She is known for imposing, unique spatial works of art made from wood that function as wall elements. In her spatial artwork, Rista has combined the tradition of woodworking with the new possibilities offered by information technology.
Wood has played an important role throughout the career of fifty-year-old Petri Heino, M.Sc. (For.), whose studies also include forest industry-related marketing. The small-town boy from Riihimäki realised that wood was his thing while working in the forestry department of Paloheimo Oy. Since then, his career has been multifaceted: a year on a student exchange programme in the United States, sawn timber sales, wood construction promotion at Puuinfo and Wood Focus, lobbying for the Finnish Forest Industries Federation, travelling in Europe and North America as a senior advisor, and four years in wood construction projects at the Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences. Since the first of August this year, he has held the post of Programme Director in the Ministry of the Environment.
The Pudasjärvi City Council has made a unanimous policy decision to favour wood construction for all public buildings. According to Mayor Tomi Timonen, the political mindset was based on the great significance of the forestry sector in the area. "We wanted to secure the hundreds of industrial jobs offered by the forestry sector, wood processing and construction. Wood construction provides significant cash flow for the area in the form of stump rates, transport, processing and construction. This made it easy to commit to furthering wood construction."
Stora Enso has introduced a modular construction solution based on CLT solid wood elements to the growing fast construction market, enabling buildings to be ready for use in just a few weeks. There is a need for fast construction in many fields in Europe, for example student housing, school construction and now the significant challenge of providing housing for refugees.
Finland's largest log house manufacturer, Kontiotuote Oy, is improving its productivity by investing in design and industrial automation. The company has its own architecture and construction design units that employ as many people as actual production. "We use the industrial Internet, where design directs production. We can already see that strengthening investments in design has improved productivity," says Jalo Poijula, Managing Director of Kontiotuote Oy.
Sweco, an expert consulting company in the built environment and industry, is looking for growth in Central European construction markets. After purchasing Grontmij, Holland's leading construction design and consulting company, Sweco is Europe's leading consulting and engineering company with 14,500 employees in 15 countries.
Construction of the world's tallest wood high-rise will begin this spring in Vienna, Austria. When completed in 2017, the HoHo building will have 24 storeys. Today, the tallest wood high-rise is a 14-storey residential building under construction in Bergen, Norway.
Goals are high for Lapwall Oy, which began delivering wood elements three years ago in Pyhäntä, the most industrialised municipality in Finland. "Our goal is to cut construction costs and time by half and to be number one in wood construction in Northern Europe," Lapwall's Managing Director Jarmo Pekkarinen says without hesitation.