Fast construction with prefabricated wood elements

​Why wood elements help in picking up the speed

Wood elements enable rapid building, which in turn leads to more profitable construction projects and shorter investment payback times. The pace of construction is kept at the desired level, because prefabrication reduces some of the most common risks at construction sites. These include, for example, delays caused by ever-changing weather conditions, and relatively uncommon but potentially severe on-site accidents.

According to construction professionals interviewed by McGraw-Hill Construction, nearly 70% of projects that used prefabricated elements had shorter schedules, and 65% had decreased budgets. In addition to faster building projects leading to faster revenue, there are also other benefits that become apparent at the construction site.

Faster construction project with prefabricated elements 

“Utilizing prefabricated wood elements can help in significantly reducing other inconveniences such as unloading building materials in the neighbourhood, as well as the amount of on-site waste and the need to transport it”, says Matti Kuittinen, architect and researcher from Aalto University.

Values guide Metsä Group's operations 

 Up to 1500 m2 in a day

Erecting a roof can be surprisingly fast with Kerto LVL

Utilizing prefabricated wood is a surprisingly fast option for on-site construction. For example, up to 1500 m2 of Kerto® LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber) roof panels can be assembled within a single working day.

Fast construction of a roof with wood elements 


“For example, erecting Kerto roof elements used at the logistic centre of DB Schenker, Finland provided a roof over the entire building in just 15 days. This is the same amount of time that erecting a temporary tent would have required. Using prefabricated roof panels ensured that the rest of the work could be completed in a protected environment and without additional costs for temporary protection”, Kuittinen adds.

Fast construction

Fast construction of Diesel Benelux headquarters 

Tight schedule resulted in choosing Kerto LVL

The Diesel-Benelux Company headquarters in Amsterdam is a particularly impressive example of great design and rapid building.

“An extremely tight building schedule of only nine months resulted in choosing Kerto LVL roof panels – under which the rest of the construction work could be finished in time”, project subcontractor in charge of the wood construction, Lambert van den Bosch from Heko Spanten, mentions.

As a result, the world-famous brand had a move-in-ready headquarters constructed from sustainable and durable materials – in less than a year.


Roof elements protect from weather

Quick protection for construction site with wood elements

One of the most important construction phases is to get the on-site protection done quickly to eliminate weather-related risks. Today, the alternatives for on-site weather protection include applying fast construction methods, such as prefabrication or building under a tent.

Prefabricated wood elements shield the building site beneath weather protection that’s superior to other temporary options – especially when it comes to snow loads and heavy winds. Currently, a large scale construction project is continuously at the mercy of the harsh Finnish weather. Since time is of the essence, the roof of the 26 300 square-meter terminal in Vuosaari port was built with Metsä Wood's roof elements.  Installation of roof elements was completed in ten weeks.

Improved construction safety

Impruved construction safety with prefabrication 

Minimizing the risk of accidents with prefabrication

When the construction work takes place in controlled indoor conditions at the prefabrication site, there is less risk of accidents and consequent delays at the building site. This is because some of the dangerous on-site phases are no longer needed.

“Assembling wood elements built in a controlled indoor environment can replace the potentially more dangerous process of having to build a roof from beams, panels and bitumen at the heights of an unfinished building. On-site accidents are of course not frequent, but every single one of them should be avoided”, van den Bosch concludes.

Mr. Lambert van den Bosch, director and owner of Heko Spanten

​​Heko Spanten  is a sister company of Houthandel Lambert van den Bosch Ede. For over 50 years the specialist in the construction, manufacturing and assembly of glued load-bearing timber structures. You can think of for instance wooden trusses, laminated beams, Kerto solutions and all other conceivable special timber structures. These constructions are intended for applications in the construction and renovation segment.

Architect, research manager: Matti Kuittinen

​Matti Kuittinen is Research Manager and Architech in Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture. His research and lecturing work at Aalto University is focused on wood construction, carbon footprinting, LCA, energy efficiency and humanitarian aid.

Quick facts

  • Prefabrication pays off: 70% of projects -> shorter schedules, 65% -> decreased budgets.
  • Up to 1500 m2 of Kerto® LVL roof panels can be assembled in 1 working day.
  • At the logistic centre of DB Schenker, Finland, Kerto® LVL roof elements provided a roof over the building in just 15 days. 
  • Kerto® LVL roof panels helped the Diesel-Benelux Company to keep to their tight building schedule of 9 months.

Open Source Wood initiative

Open Source Wood: an open platform for innovative wood construction

In June, Metsä Wood launched its Open Source Wood project, where architects, designers and engineers are invited to join forces to innovate and share information relating to construction based on wood elements.

This project is a continuation of the Plan B campaign, and is aimed at expanding the market for urban wood construction by combining expertise from different countries. Metsä Wood is promoting element design by offering EUR 30,000 in prize money for element-based designs that make innovative use of Kerto LVL.

Read more and join the initiative

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