Little Finlandia: a multiuse wooden building embodying circular economy principles
17 June 2022 Sustainable construction
Finlandia Hall, Helsinki's most famous venue for conferences and events, is now flanked by Little Finlandia, a new building made entirely from Finnish wood.
The pavilion-like structure covers an area of 2,000 m² and can accommodate 800 people. Little Finlandia, a joint project of the City of Helsinki, Finlandia Hall, Aalto University and FM-Haus, was built with PEFC-certified Kerto® Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) supplied by Metsä Wood.
A Multi-Purpose Building
The Little Finlandia structure was designed so that it could be deconstructed and reassembled on a different site in the future. It currently provides temporary facilities during the renovation of Finlandia Hall, which is due to be completed in 2024.
After this, it can be dismantled and moved to another location for reuse as another temporary facility e.g. as a school, day-care centres or as temporary accommodation during other renovation projects.
“To ensure that the building met the project’s requirements for adaptability, transport, and reuse, it had to be constructed from durable, premium-quality materials.
The elements, made of Kerto LVL products, ensured a hardwearing building which was capable of withstanding heavy use,” commented Metsä Wood Sales Manager Lassi Moisio.
Wood – a versatile, sustainable, and fire-resistant construction material
Little Finlandia is a superb example of Finnish architecture, which showcases wood as a construction material which adheres to the principles of sustainability and the circular economy.
“Carbon dioxide emissions during both construction and operation must be minimised in construction in the future. It is therefore very important to use materials that enable a sustainable future,” explained Jussi Björman, Metsä’s Director of Business Development, Construction.
“Wood is currently the only renewable building material that can be used for large-scale construction. For example, the forest needed for a 1,400 m2 multi-storey building grows back in just under four minutes in Finland.”
Using wooden modules enabled Little Finlandia to be flexibly adapted, ensuring it will have a long useful life. The volumetric modules were prefabricated by FM-Haus at its offsite factory in Jokioinen, 120 km north of Helsinki. Offsite modular construction facilitates a much faster build in comparison to traditional on-site methods.
“In the case of Little Finlandia, modular construction cut the on-site construction time to a third of the usual duration,” said Juhani Sjöman, Managing Director of FM-Haus.
The load-bearing structures of the modules used in Little Finlandia were built with Metsä’s PEFC-certified Kerto LVL products, which provided superior usability properties.
Engineered timber products, such as LVL, are not only quick to erect, lightweight and renewable but they are also fire resistant. The Kerto LVL structures used in the building have a fire resistance capacity of 60 minutes. The building also features three fire compartments, bordered by fire dampers capable of withstanding fire for 30 minutes.
Make it certified
PEFC-certified timber, whether it is solid wood or engineered wood, comes from a PEFC-certified forest – a forest managed sustainably in line with strict international requirements.
Certification not only demonstrates that wood used in construction is sourced sustainably, but that a positive choice has been made to design and build with a future for healthy forests in mind.
Photo credits: Kimmo Räisänen, Mikko Raskinen, Jaakko Torvinen