Precast concrete and wood products company are working together with a house builder to find low-carbon solutions in construction
Finland’s leading precast concrete element manufacturer Consolis Parma, house builder Arkta Rakennus and Metsä Wood have launched a research project on hybrid construction that promotes low-carbon construction. The aim is to develop a completely new kind of hybrid construction concept mainly for the needs of residential multi-storey construction, which will reduce the environmental impacts of construction by utilising hybrid structures.
The sustainable development of the construction industry focuses on energy and material efficiency, as well as low-carbon construction and the circular economy. “Radically cutting the climate impact is a common concern for the entire construction industry. In line with our strategy, we have put climate issues at the centre of our development work, and our goal is to reduce our emissions by five percent annually and halve them by 2035,” says Juha Rämö, Technology Director at Consolis Parma.
The aim of the cooperation between Parma, Arkta and Metsä is to create a material-efficient and low-emission hybrid construction concept. In this context, hybrid construction refers to combining the best features of wood and concrete both in a building frame and façade solutions to make the building low-carbon, energy-saving, long-lasting and cost-effective.
“Hybrid construction enables increasing the share of renewable material in multi-storey construction without compromising building process efficiency or the performance of solutions. Metsä Wood’s lightweight, material-efficient and carbon-storing Kerto® LVL engineered wood product is well suited for hybrid construction applications. In cooperation with our partners, we have the best prerequisites for finding the most effective overall solutions,” says Jussi Björman, Director, Business Development , Construction at Metsä Wood.
“In terms of the climate impacts of the built environment, the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy means that the influence of the actual construction phase in the building’s life cycle emissions will increase. As a result, structural solutions and the material choices in construction will play an increasingly crucial role in reducing the climate impact of the construction phase in the future,” Rämö continues.
“We have launched a whole product family of low-emission concrete products that can significantly reduce material-based emissions from construction. In this research project, we are looking for new ways to reduce even more material emissions by utilising new hybrid structures and the best properties of different materials,” Rämö concludes.
“We are an expert in both concrete and wood construction and we know very well how these two different building materials behave. By utilising this know-how, our goal is to together develop solutions that combine the best properties of wood and concrete with the new hybrid construction system,” says Marko Nikander, Technical Director at Arkta Rakennus.
“We act as an expert of the construction site and installation process. We want to ensure the development of functional hybrid solutions using the best expertise of the project parties,” adds Nikander.
“The end goal of the research project is to produce cost-effective and easily replicable low-carbon hybrid element structures that create a brand new way of building both in Finland and around the world,” Nikander concludes.
The structural solutions to be developed as part of the research project are to be tested in an apartment building project in Finland.