Meeting the challenge of change

In a rapidly changing world, even buildings have to change with the times. Few buildings have gone through as many changes as the German Reichstag. Today, it houses the German parliament. As a large part of its work is focused on environmental legislation, it makes sense that its home should be as sustainable as possible. To add to the challenge, the Reichstag of today is almost like three different buildings in one. Metsä Wood joined forces with its partner, Finnholz, to explore how to build a wooden Reichstag. See how Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber) meets the challenges of change.

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Joint planning

Best partnerships 

Best partnerships based on shared passion

The Metsä Wood way can be crystallised into two words: industrial efficiency. You can only achieve this through close co-operation with customers. Plan B is no exception. A leading timber construction company, Finnholz, and their construction engineer Andreas Rutschmann volunteered for the task. Finnholz and Germany are constantly looking for more sustainable solutions in everything they do, and sustainability has become a prerequisite for construction. You could say that Germany is already putting Plan B into action.

  • Andreas Rutschmann

    Wooden Riechstag, engineer: Andreas Rutschmann
  • Finnholz Holzbaustatik

    Finnholz logo

Engineer: Andreas Rutschmann


Engineer: Andreas Rutschmann

​Andreas Rutschmann studied civil engineering at the KIT, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. After working at the Research Center for Steel, Timber & Masonry, he joined FH Finnholz as a structural engineer. At FH Finnholz, he has done all kinds of structural designs for timber constructions – from industrial buildings and timber houses to free forms for special applications.



Company: Finnholz Holzbaustatik

​Finnholz Handelsgesellschaft mbH deals with timber construction with an emphasis on energy efficient buildings. In its first year the company constructed the first Kerto hall in Northern Germany. The technical expertise of the company is supported by practical testing and significant Kerto applications.


Reichstag - A building that reflects the centuries 

A building that reflects the centuries

The final stone of the original Reichstag building designed by architect Paul Wallot was laid in 1894. The building housed the Imperial Diet until 1933 when the building was severely damaged in a fire. For a long time the building was not used at all. When the ruined building was finally made safe, it was partly used as a storage space for many years. The building was reconstructed after German reunification in 1990 and it became the home of the German parliament in 1999. The world-renowned architect Sir Norman Foster led the reconstruction work. The Reichstag building is truly a representation and symbol of the history and transformation of Germany.


Reichstag - legislation 

New laws demand a plan B

In Germany, there are two major organisations overseeing building sustainability; one is more focused on private building projects and the other on public ones. With both organisations, you have to meet several different kinds of criteria for sustainability to receive a gold or platinum certificate. Timber is great in this respect as its CO2 footprint is actually negative, because timber traps carbon. If the Reichstag would have been constructed today out of wood, it would have easily received the Golden Certificate for public buildings.



Three buildings in one

Starting from the initial design, the present Reichstag has found its form after several architectural competitions. How should we approach this historical reconstruction with wood? As the current building already represents decades of change, we wanted to respect that and didn’t even try to look for a new design. We approached the different styles joined in the building from a fresh technical perspective. It is almost as if there were three different buildings. Can Kerto meet the very different challenges set by the offices, dome and entrance?



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