Sustainable construction with lightweight roof elements


To make the construction industry more sustainable, we must use more wood in construction. Wood is the only renewable construction material that also stores carbon. However, the construction industry still mainly uses steel and concrete, which instead have a negative impact on the climate.

Founded in 2008, Flens Byggelement delivers wooden construction elements to all of Scandinavia. The company makes prefabricated wooden elements in its 12,000-square-metre plant located in Flen, some 100 kilometres south-west of Stockholm. According to Rickard Brännman, project manager at Flens Byggelement, there are many reasons why the industry should use more wood.

"Wood construction offers many advantages. It’s a renewable material that’s good for the climate. Since steel and concrete have accounted for the bulk of construction material used in Sweden, we must turn our attention to more renewable alternatives in order to tackle the climate challenges facing us,” he says.

Efficient element production

Prefabricated wooden elements make the construction industry more efficient

Flens Byggelement focuses on streamlining the construction process and making it more efficient. In Rickard Brännman’s opinion, prefabricated wooden elements are part of the solution.

“Using wood in construction offers us great flexibility concerning the products we supply to the construction market, since it enables a more tailored and solutions-oriented approach with customers,” he explains.

A focus on prefabricated elements ensures that Flens Byggelement’s customers get higher quality products and have greater control over the products. It also makes processes more efficient. When constructing on site, builders may end up spending more than half of their working hours on matters unrelated to the actual construction. They may find themselves repairing defects detected only after construction has been completed.

“Such defects and inefficiency can be avoided by using prefabricated elements, manufactured in an indoor environment that can be controlled, instead of building everything outdoors at the construction site,” says Rickard Brännman.

Values guide Metsä Group's operations 

Kerto® LVL has unique properties

Metsä Wood supplies Kerto LVL products to Flens Byggelement. Kerto LVL is an engineered product made by gluing several layers of three-millimetre-thick veneers to create a lightweight product that is fast to build with and sustainable from the climate perspective. Using Kerto LVL in everything from new buildings to renovation and repair helps Flens Byggelement meet customer needs.

“Specific properties, such as long spans, low U values and low deflection, are often sought, and Kerto LVL is a good choice in this respect,” says Rickard Brännman.

The strength and stiffness properties of Kerto LVL make it possible to build floor and roof elements with long spans and an optimal amount of wood. Lightweight Kerto LVL also reduces the weight of transports to construction sites, which is better for the climate.

“What is more, Kerto LVL elements are loaded into lorries in the correct order of assembly, enabling the construction company to simply lift the topmost element, put it in place and then do the same for the following ones,” says Brännman.

Successful cooperation

Values guide Metsä Group's operations 

Skanska uses Kerto LVL to build assisted living facilities

Flens Byggelement supplies prefabricated roof elements, intermediate floors and walls to large Swedish construction companies. When Skanska, a multinational construction group, built a new assisted living facility north of Södertälje, in Sweden, it decided to use prefabricated wooden elements and Kerto LVL products for the roof elements.

"The project was extremely successful, and the roof elements based on Kerto LVL offered a superior fit,” says Ove Rinnbäck, supervisor for Skanska Hus.

The prefabricated elements made the construction process more efficient, and thanks to the roof elements, a weather-tight building was up in no time. Ove Rinnbäck was also very satisfied with the cooperation between Skanska and Flens Byggelement and emphasises the responsiveness of Flens Byggelement.

“We’ve received extremely good feedback from the market on our Kerto LVL elements and more and more requests for prefabricated products,” says Rickard Brännman.

According to Ove Rinnbäck from Skanska Hus, prefabricated wood products are in line with Skanska’s view on sustainability. 

“We feel positive about increasing the use of wood in construction. It is a step in the right direction towards climate neutrality,” he says.

Values guide Metsä Group's operations 

Flens Byggelement plans to increase producion

Metsä Wood and Flens Byggelement have cooperated for three years. Their cooperation has led to excellent results, and following the increased demand for prefabricated wooden elements, Flens Byggelement now plans to invest in a new production line to increase the production of Kerto LVL elements.

"It means we will be able to notably increase our production capacity and satisfy market demand better and more flexibly,” says Rickard Brännman.

Håkan Arnebrant, Business Development Manager at Metsä Wood, is pleased with cooperation with Flens Byggelement.

“We enjoy a very good dialogue and good cooperation with Flens Byggelement and can jointly identify new business opportunities, which help an increasing number of parties to build faster and more sustainably by using prefabricated Kerto LVL-based wood elements,” he says.

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