According to Metsä Wood, constructors are increasingly turning to prefabricated wooden elements in Sweden because of the climate crisis. Wood is the only construction material that stores carbon, in contrast to steel and concrete that have a negative impact on the climate. Rickard Brännman, project manager at Flens Byggelement, a manufacturer of wooden products for prefabricated building elements, sees many reasons for the growing interest in wood.
He said, “Wood construction offers many advantages. It’s a renewable material that’s good for the climate. Since steel and concrete have accounted for the bulk of construction material used in Sweden, we must turn our attention to more renewable alternatives in order to tackle the climate challenges facing us.”
Founded in 2008, Flens Byggelement delivers prefabricated wooden elements to all of Scandinavia. The company uses Metsä Wood’s Kerto LVL for its prefabricated roof elements. Kerto LVL is an engineered product made by gluing several layers of 3mm-thick veneers to create a strong and stiff material. It enables the construction of long-span floor and roof elements from an optimised amount of wood.
Flens Byggelement now plans to invest in a new production line to increase the production of Kerto LVL elements in order to meet the customer demand for prefabricated wooden elements.
“Our customers often require specific properties, such as long spans, low U values and low deflection, and Kerto LVL is an excellent choice in this respect,” said Brännman. “It will enable us to expand our production capacity significantly so that we can meet the market demand better and more flexibly.”
Flens Byggelement supplies Kerto LVL-based roof elements to Swedish construction companies such as Skanska and Veidekke. Skanska aims to be carbon neutral by 2045. When it began constructing a new assisted living facility north of Södertälje, in Sweden, it decided to use prefabricated wooden elements made by Flens Byggelement, with Kerto LVL used for the roof elements.
“We are in favour of increasing the use of wood in construction. It’s a step in the right direction towards climate neutrality,” said Ove Rinnbäck, supervisor at Skanska Hus.