​Image copyright © Harmet


Prefabricated housing modules at speed

Harmet is an Estonian element manufacturing company that was founded in 1992 and employs some 800 people across five factories in Estonia and Finland, producing modular houses, prefabricated modules, and various modular worksite facilities. The company operates on a turnkey basis – from design engineering to final assembly of the buildings.

Harmet is one of the region’s biggest producers and suppliers, with an export share of more than 90%, mainly to Scandinavian countries, but currently expanding into the UK. The company’s biggest clients are Cramo for construction site huts and BoKlok for modular homes. The use of Metsä Wood’s Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber) products enables fast, light and green construction.

Kerto LVL

Harmet factory 

Exactly right for the purpose

Kerto LVL offers a wide range of products that fit the element and module production perfectly. The strong and dimensionally stable timber system components fulfil high demands, from residential to high-rise projects.

Harmet uses several Kerto LVL products in its prefabricated houses: Kerto LVL S-beams for girders; Q-panels for flooring and intermediate floors; and T-studs for supporting walls and partitions. Harmet also uses Metsä Wood’s Finnjoist I-beams and Spruce Ply MouldGuard.

As Ivari Hiiemäe, Pre-Production Manager at Harmet, says, “We use Kerto LVL where timber cannot be used. In particular, longer spans with stable dimensions and the possibility of building lighter and more versatile designs, are a definite benefit from the production perspective. It also greatly helps offsite manufacturers like us that Metsä Wood customises some products for us – for example, cutting large cross-sections into specific lengths for us before delivering.”
Finnwood software 

Harmet’s subsidiary Thorn Engineering uses Metsä Wood’s Finnwood® software for the structural designs of Harmet’s modules. Thorn Engineering also provides professional technical support and design services to architects, house factories, and timber construction companies. 

Design versatility and faster production

Kerto Q and Kerto S beams 
Harmet’s collaboration with Metsä Wood and use of Kerto LVL products offer many benefits.

Product properties

From the technology standpoint, Harmet uses Kerto LVL for three main reasons. 

Kerto LVL has stabler dimensions than planed timber and is therefore easier and faster to assemble. 
Kerto LVL also has better strength and stiffness properties, thanks to its layered structure. This allows for more compact and lighter weight designs. 

Kerto LVL is also available in large dimensions, which offers freedom in design and construction.

Faster production

The technical properties of the Kerto LVL products enable modules to be manufactured at high speed.
Harmet’s newest and most modern factory in Kumna, Estonia, has a production area of 22,000 m2. It manufactures more than 3,600 modules a year, corresponding to approximately 130,000 m2 of living space. At such production speeds, it is essential that both product quality and delivery reliability are top-notch.

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Modular elements

BoKlok concept 

Offsite production, onsite assembly

Construction is increasingly moving from building sites to offsite manufacturing. Industrially standardised elements increase the quality and efficiency of construction. The turnaround time on building sites becomes shorter, and errors are reduced.

BoKlok is a modular concept for affordable blocks of flats and terraced houses, jointly developed by construction company Skanska and IKEA. The concept includes everything, from design to the final assembly of the single- or multi-storey buildings as a turnkey solution.

Harmet manufactures prefabricated modules for the blocks, with 90 per cent of the entire building structure and interior being built in the factory. The modules come complete with doors and windows, power and water systems, ready-fitted bathrooms and kitchens, and all modules are quality controlled against stringent European standards at the factory before shipment.

Harmet factory 

Close and helpful cooperation

Besides the product properties and quality that result in faster production, Harmet is satisfied with the cooperation with Metsä Wood, and values Metsä Wood’s technical expertise and product understanding, which help manufacturers develop their business.

“We have a very good and close relationship with Metsä Wood,” says Ivari Hiiemäe. “They’re always ready to offer advice and help to offsite manufacturers like us.”

Harmet plans to continue and even expand its collaboration with Metsä Wood and its use of Kerto LVL products. 

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