Because of Lithuanians, Scandinavians are rediscovering wood

2017.07.10

When one needs to invest in a modern and sustainable building, it is very important to choose a long-term and modern solution. Lately, a tendency to use cross laminated timber for all main constructions of the building is becoming more and more pronounced in the Scandinavian countries.

Based on the European Union directive, from 2019 all buildings will have to be designed so that the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions would be nearly non-existent when producing the building materials, constructing and maintaining the building, as well as when demolishing or utilizing old constructions. This means that the future will belong to sustainable buildings, constructed with eco-friendly materials and that it will be harder and harder for builders to meet energy efficiency and environmental requirements when choosing traditional building solutions, such as concrete, masonry or metal.

KG Constructions, aluminium-glass constructions design and production company, working in the Baltics and Scandinavia, carried out a project in Sweden. The project was unique for its architectural and technological solutions. This idea was realized in collaboration with companies Lignas and Trevita that develop and produce energy efficiency solutions and supply cross laminated timber.

The building is being constructed in the Northern part of Stockholm and will be used by the Church of Sweden. The project, created by Wingårdh, one of the best-known Scandinavian architect companies, was designed to make use of the advantages of timber and glass constructions to their maximum effect. “When we started evaluating, how we could improve energy efficiency of the building and offer shorter deadlines for construction works, we decided to use wall elements mostly made of cross laminated timber.” – said Vidas Turauskis, deputy CEO of Trevita.

According to Artiomas Kuranovas, CEO of the production company Lignas, the completed project is mainly unique because, in contrast to traditional construction with cross laminated timber, where the construction, insulation, facade finish and window installation works are carried out on the construction site, this project was executed a bit differently:

“Our specialists completely assembled wall elements at the factory, then KG Constructions delivered them to the construction site and built them there, which ensured a faster pace and better quality of the construction works. The specialists designed channels for pipes and wires, airducts and built-in furniture. These solutions, as well as moving most of the production and design expenditures to Lithuania, provided us with a competitive edge and we were more attractive for the client.”

Interestingly, 90 % of the total area of timber slabs was used as the final interior décor, which made the building cosy and distinctive, as well as reduced the costs of interior decoration.

Cross laminated timber – the material of future buildings

According to Mr. Turauskis, it is no wonder that Scandinavian clients choose wood as an alternative in building construction: “One can feel a renaissance of this type of buildings and that is completely understandable. This is the only construction material that has no negative impact on the environment. Because of the great physical and mechanical qualities of cross laminated timber, buildings exceeding more than 70 meters in height are being designed and built.”

In comparison with traditional facades, where the average size of the elements is limited to ten square meters, cross laminated timber facade elements can be as big as 40 square meters, which greatly reduces construction costs. Such project in Scandinavia, where the company was responsible not only for the facades, but also for the entire design, production and assembly of the building construction, is the first in KG Constructions history.