Mind the Gap: A Policy Gap Analysis of Programmes Promoting Timber Construction in Nordic Countries
2. Materials and Methods
3.1. Barriers and Challenges
- Stricter fire safety regulations than for other materials
- A lack of promotion from local governments regarding their tenures for new buildings
- Discriminatory practices on the part of insurance companies and additional fees for timber buildings
- Insufficient knowledge of carbon accounting methodologies
- A lack of appropriate tools to implement timber construction projects in BIM
- High price variability due to the size and market share of the wood sector
- Educational offer gap, which contributes to the lack of experts available in the field
- A lack of knowledge on the assessment of operation and maintenance costs
- Scepticism regarding the material’s durability
3.2. Programmes and Policies
National Wood Construction Programme (2011–2015)
- The development of construction projects that are larger than individual buildings, where wood is used in an appropriate and competitive manner.
- The market share of multi-storey timber buildings will be 10%, and the export of processed timber products will increase by EUR 0.5 billion a year.
- The value of forest industry exports will amount to EUR 13 billion a year.
- The turnover of new products will increase by EUR 1 billion a year.
- The use of domestic wood will total 65–70 million cubic metres a year.
- The market share of multi-storey timber buildings was approximately 4% in 2014. In 2015, that share was estimated to reach 10%.
- The export of processed wood products has declined, and no efficient way to boost growth and exports in the industry has been found.
- Exports in the forest industry are rising, but overall growth has not reached the target.
- There are no exact numbers on turnover; however, it is likely to be several hundred millions of euros a year.
- The total removal of stem wood, used as a raw material in industry and energy production, increased to 65 million cubic metres in 2013.
- A shared service platform has been established for companies in the business (www.woodproducts.fi) (accessed on 25 October 2018) and a shared ‘Story of Wood’.
- Corporate growth and anchor tenant models have been created to improve competitiveness in the field and to combine production, product development, networks, and market knowledge. The promotion of exports has been systematised and enhanced in government corporate cooperation according to the Team Finland approach.
- In 2012–2015, some 4000 people participated in training events.
Wood Building Programme
- Increasing the use of wood in urban development
- Promoting the use of wood in public buildings
- Increasing the building of large wood construction
- Strengthening regional skills bases
- Encouraging exports
- the increase in the number of timber-framed blocks of flats
- the proportion of industrial wood construction out of all wood construction
- the increase in exports of wood-based construction products
- the amount of carbon bound by buildings
- the increase in the number of non-profit developers active in wood construction
Wood Based Innovation Programme
- Increased use of wood in products (including buildings)
- Increased profitability (gradually specified as increased value creation) in the woodworking industry
SKOG22: A National Strategy for the Forest and Wood Industry
- Increase the competitiveness of wood as a building material to strengthen the wood industry, reduce GHG emissions, and contribute to CO2 storage in buildings.
- Increase competence, increase the pace of innovation in the timber industry, and find wood-based solutions for high and dense urban growth. Integrated system solutions must be developed that promote industrialisation while remaining adaptable.
- Requirements for life cycle analyses in technical regulations contribute to increased sustainability in the construction sector.
- Introduce requirements in the Plan and the Building Act so that the planning authorities can, through climate and environmental plans, as well as area and regulation plans, set requirements for the use of renewable resources.
- Continue necessary, ongoing restructuring in the industry to ensure sufficient competitiveness.
- Increase value creation through industrialisation in the construction sector based on the full range of Norwegian wood resources, including by developing standards and digitally based processes.
- Establish requirements for life cycle analyses in the technical regulations (TEK).
- Contribute to a sustainable construction industry by developing solid, unified environmental documentation from the production of materials and the reuse of buildings.
- Identify sustainable building solutions for all sectors of society by strengthening cooperation between the tree industry and R&D environments regarding research, innovation, and competence development.
New Bio-Economic Scheme (2017–2019)
Industry Research Programme for the Forest and Wood Industry
The National Strategic Research Agenda for Forest-Based Industries
- All European building regulations are fully function-based, especially with regard to fire safety.
- These rules are not discriminatory with regard to the use of wood in multi-story buildings or other large buildings.
- Verified systems for tall timber houses (over 20 floors) are available and have been tested.
- Fast, moisture-proof, material-efficient building processes with a high degree of prefabrication have proven economically advantageous, both for new construction and for the renovation and upgrading of older buildings.
- Moisture safety and energy efficiency are continuously verified with the help of advanced embedded sensor technology.
- Wood-based construction has also been accepted and verified by all major environmental classification systems for buildings.
- The possibilities of wood, in terms of architectonic design and aesthetics, have been developed and demonstrated.
- The increased use of wood in construction has contributed to curbing climate change by replacing non-renewable and energy-demanding materials and providing a carbon sink for construction works.
- FBBB, for future bio-based construction and housing projects (2015–2018), cost SEK 56.4 million (EUR 5.2 million). The aim of the project was to create the conditions for increasing the use of bio-based products and services used primarily in the construction sector in Sweden and Europe and to increase the competitiveness of the Swedish wood manufacturing industry.
- Swedish Wood Innovation underscores the potential for a bio-based society. At a cost of SEK 52 million, the project has been ongoing for 3 years. The goal is to see increased demand for Swedish wood within three years, with a focus on pine. Through innovative processes, the properties of timber products must be developed, and their value must be increased. The project consists of four subprojects designed to develop and strengthen Swedish raw materials for different market segments. The project will contribute to generating new, profitable, and industrially produced pine products whose shape and function correspond to consumers’ current preferences.
National Forest Programme (NFP)
- Increase profitability in the woodworking industry
- Promote the use of timber in public buildings
- Encourage the harmonisation of fire safety regulations
- Increase profitability in the woodworking industry
- Increase the competitiveness of timber as a construction material
- Promote innovation in the wood sector
- Support the development of methods to conduct LCA and EPDs
- Establish requirements for LCA in the TEK
- Showcase systems for tall timber buildings (over 20 floors)
- Eliminate discriminatory practices or regulations with regard to the use of timber
- Form strategies for monitoring moisture safety and energy efficiency in timber buildings
- Advance environmental benefits related to the use of timber in the built environment
- Promote the development of industrialised timber construction products
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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Maniak-Huesser, M.; Tellnes, L.G.F.; Zea Escamilla, E. Mind the Gap: A Policy Gap Analysis of Programmes Promoting Timber Construction in Nordic Countries. Sustainability 2021, 13, 11876. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111876
Maniak-Huesser M, Tellnes LGF, Zea Escamilla E. Mind the Gap: A Policy Gap Analysis of Programmes Promoting Timber Construction in Nordic Countries. Sustainability. 2021; 13(21):11876. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111876Chicago/Turabian Style
Maniak-Huesser, Martyna, Lars G. F. Tellnes, and Edwin Zea Escamilla. 2021. "Mind the Gap: A Policy Gap Analysis of Programmes Promoting Timber Construction in Nordic Countries" Sustainability 13, no. 21: 11876. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111876