We need a value debate on domestic construction. In too many cases, tight schedules and the pursuit of quick profits win over quality, reason and reflection. What if the key issues were health, a long service life, Finnish origins, the environment, and future generations?
The key issue is the wellbeing of dwellers
Let’s return to the heart of the matter. Why do we erect buildings? To live, spend time and thrive in them. In the harsh Nordic climate, we are kept indoors most of the year. We are born, grow, eat, sleep, learn, act and rest within four walls. So the nature of buildings is important.
We can easily influence the health-promoting properties of the built environment through our construction choices. A facility built from breathable logs caresses all five senses and, as studies show, reduces stress among residents. Warm natural materials look beautiful, feel good and smell fresh and agreeable, and have pleasant acoustics. We can make our indoor lives high quality and close to nature, sleeping well and enjoying refreshing rest.
It’s time to make mouldy buildings a thing of the past. We can use healthy and ecological building materials, such as pure Finnish wood.
Marko Saarelainen, CEO
Sustainable construction looks to the future
We are concerned about the current level of construction in Finland. Buildings should not be ‘disposable’. We are amazed when public buildings are demolished after just twenty years in use, often due to moisture damage or problems with indoor air quality. Both of these are directly due to deficient product development, unfit building materials or poor design. This takes its toll on natural resources and human health, and is completely unnecessary. All buildings can be designed and erected in such a way that they are durable, remain safe and meet the needs of future generations.
We aim to make sustainable building the new norm for Finnish construction. There should be a way of choosing actors with a long track record of high quality and responsibility. We should therefore define criteria for decision-makers and tenderers to help them avoid the trap of deceptively cheap construction. Instead, they should opt for sustainable solutions that respect people and nature.
Sustainability means extensive experience and understanding of how building materials interact and behave in Finland’s varying weather conditions. Genuinely non-settling logs by Honkarakenne are a safe and durable choice as a single material for the frames of buildings. Sustainability involves a range of design skills that take account of a building’s service life. By looking ahead several decades or even further at the design phase, we can avoid having to demolish buildings due to changing needs. Sensibly designed modern, bright facilities can be modified later, when the operational needs of the building change.
“We want to be a pioneer in sustainable construction in Finland. This is backed by our experience of sustainable design, and our traditional Finnish wood construction expertise, based on hundreds of public buildings. We are proud to construct healthy buildings — which will last centuries if properly maintained — from clean Finnish logs.”
Marko Saarelainen, CEO
Responsible attitude towards Finnish nature and work
It is said that Finns can live without neighbours, but not without trees and forests. We are global pioneers in environmental protection. We love our unique natural environment and want to cherish it in our construction choices. Using ecological, renewable wood as a building material is natural for Finns, and has the same positive associations as a warm rocky outcrop, a soft mossy stone, or sprigs of ripe blueberries.
Finnish wood architecture has a great history that is respected around the world. It is time to restore it to its rightful position in Finland. The best tribute we can pay to thousands of years of Finnish wood construction is to continue it. We grow the raw materials of our buildings in Finland’s forests, which we cherish, planting a new sapling in place of each tree we fell. We shape the logs in Finland and provide local professionals with construction work. Finnish legislation, building supervision and monitoring watch over the entire process, from fragrant coniferous forests to a new, fresh building, with log walls that bind carbon dioxide for decades. A sustainable developer can feel proud to be involved in a chain of continuing Finnish work.
By building sustainably, we can be proud of our legacy
What kind of built environment will we leave for our children? We have a vision: that future generations will thank today’s builders when designing new, innovative and communal uses for spacious, sturdy and healthy buildings with a beauty as timeless as that of wood. They will reach out to touch the solid and safe logs, breathing clean air both inside and outside the log walls. Our children walk through the woods, dropping cones onto the ground. These grow into new trees, from which they can make new buildings. Just like their ancestors for thousands of years before them and us.
We have a vision: that future generations will thank today’s builders when designing new, innovative and communal uses for spacious, sturdy and healthy buildings with a beauty as timeless as that of wood.
Marko Saarelainen, CEO
Learn more about our sustainable mindset
Examples of sustainable construction: Oppikylä collaborative project
Oppikylä is a sensory, log-structure learning environment which serves local residents as a high-occupancy facility for events and leisure activities, as well as a school. Mediset Hoivarakentajat Oy runs the Oppikylä service and we are the main partner in realising the project. It also involves a wide network of architects, and professionals in pedagogy and novel learning environments.