Advances in timber construction are attracting more and more attention from contractors and architects, who are discovering the benefits of using wood as a building material. In Skellefteå, you can experience a ‘wood safari’ to learn how creative ideas produce low-carbon, attractive living environments.
Innovative ideas for sustainable residential environments are a key factor in creating new ‘smart’ cities. In Skellefteå in northern Sweden, the proximity to high-quality timber is a major factor in the city’s development of an innovative local industry working with wood. Together with local timber companies and an industry-leading institute for wood research and development, Skellefteå is exploring ways to use timber as a building material. This trend is guiding the wood construction industry towards sustainability and is creating attractive, robust, low-carbon residential environments that will last for decades.
Four reasons to build with wood
1. Minimal environmental impact
An apartment building made from wood has half the environmental impact of an equivalent concrete building.
2. Only young-growth forest absorbs CO2
Trees stop absorbing carbon dioxide when they cease growing, making it environmentally sustainable to use full-grown trees and replace them by planting new trees.
3. Climate + economy = smart!
Thanks to creative solutions in modern timber construction technology, these buildings will also be economically sustainable, with no comprise on quality.
4. Pleasant living environments
Wood is the natural material choice to create attractive housing interiors and exteriors.
Timber strategy and innovation cluster
The boost to timber construction in Skellefteå is the result of the wood construction strategy adopted by the municipality in 2014. The policy aims to continue increasing wood construction, for both visible components and as a load-bearing structural material. Since the aim is to also use building materials with the lowest possible CO2 emissions, wood is considered a potential material for all projects.
Skellefteå also has strong regional support through its industry-leading Wood Innovation Cluster, which connects companies with partners in research, development, training and testing, and educates the public sector on how best to purchase these services. The cluster consists of: Träenigheten Foundation, Skellefteå Municipality, Träcentrum Norr (part of Luleå Technical University), Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) and the development company Träbransch Norr.
Among the tallest timber buildings in the world
Today, timber buildings are a common sight in Skellefteå, which now has more than 50 modern wood structures as a result of recent advances in wood construction, paired with the city’s long timber building tradition. Examples range from a multi-storey car park, low-energy preschools, wooden bridges and Sweden’s first shopping centre made entirely of wood, to Skellefteå crown jewel: the Sara Culture house, one of the world’s tallest wooden buildings, at 20 storeys high.
With its leading role in wood design and construction, Skellefteå is happy to share its knowledge and experience. Join us on a wood safari that will inspire building for a better, more sustainable, low-carbon future!