Helsinki’s goal is to be carbon neutral by 2035. Wood construction is an increasingly important part of achieving this goal, as wood as a construction material binds carbon.
The energy-efficiency requirements of buildings are growing stricter, which means that when the energy use stemming from housing decreases, the role of construction materials grows larger. Due to this, Helsinki aims to promote wooden construction in many ways.
The measures of the Carbon-neutral Helsinki 2035 programme have set goals of promoting wooden construction through detailed planning and increasing wooden construction in the City’s own projects. Additionally, the new housing and land use implementation plan (AM programme) that came into force in 2020 defines increasing wooden construction in Helsinki as one of its goals. Furthermore, the MAL agreement for land use, housing and transport between the City of Helsinki and the state also strives towards significant growth of wooden construction.
Even though relatively few wooden blocks of flats have been built thus far, a great deal more are to be built in the near future. For example, Honkasuo, an urban village of wooden buildings in northwest Helsinki, is the largest new wooden construction area in the city. Wood will also be used more for architecturally impressive landmark buildings, both their facades and their structures.
Wooden construction is also included in the City’s Re-thinking Urban Housing programme. In 2020, one of the programme’s publications was a report on a project that compared identical blocks of flats with either wooden or concrete structures. The programme’s other wooden construction projects are Circular City Village, Wooden block of flats made from modular elements, Wooden Apartment Block of the Future and Village Co-Living + LiM.
Photo: Wood City in Jätkäsaari, SRV