A significant collaboration agreement to boost the construction of wooden multi-storey residential buildings in Finland

Finance and investment Responsibility
Finance and investment Responsibility

Suomen Puukerrostalot Oy and Keva, a public sector pension insurance company, have signed a collaboration agreement for the purpose of building 1,000 homes in wooden multi-storey buildings in Finland over the next three to five years. Thanks to the agreement, the largest investment in Finland in the construction of wooden buildings is drawing closer.

Until now, the focus of Keva’s real estate investments` environmental issues has been on improving energy efficiency as it reduces the carbon footprint of properties, saves energy and makes the living environment more pleasant for everyone.

In addition to energy efficiency in its properties, Keva will also focus on reducing the carbon footprint throughout the life cycle of the buildings.

“The letter of intent that we signed gives Keva the opportunity to add investments with a very low carbon footprint to its portfolio,” says Petri Suutarinen, Keva’s Head of Real Estate. “Our goal is for around 10% of our housing investments to go to buildings with a wooden framework and, depending on the site, to also run 100% on renewable energy.”

Practical measures to combat climate change

In its development operations, Keva emphasises innovative solutions that improve the comfort of living. By building low-carbon homes, Keva aims to reduce the financial risks associated with taxes on the life-cycle carbon footprint of its buildings and the use of fossil fuels, which will materialise by the 2030s at the latest.

“This is a specific measure to combat climate change and a logical step for a pension insurance company, which is a responsible, long-term investor,” says Suutarinen.

Keva owns approximately 3,600 rental homes in Finland. On 31 December 2018, the value of Keva’s direct real estate investments was approximately EUR 2.5 billion, of which housing accounted for 26%.

The agreement is helping the largest investment in the construction of wooden buildings in Finland to go ahead

According to the collaboration agreement, Suomen Puukerrostalot Oy will construct eco-friendly, safe, smart and sustainable wooden multi-storey residential buildings for Keva. The company has the exclusive right to import to the Finnish market products manufactured by Lindbäcks Bygg Ab, a Swedish company with 25 years of experience and expertise in the construction of wooden multi-storey buildings, and to develop these products into a solution that will meet Finnish building regulations, first for the Finnish market and later also for the export market.

The launch of the construction of wooden multi-storey residential buildings on an industrial scale in Finland will require tens of millions of euros to be invested in the factory. This investment would not be viable without a significant volume of orders for future production.

“We are very pleased that Keva trusts our company’s expertise,” says Teppo Laurila, Suomen Puukerrostalot Oy’s CEO. “The collaboration agreement strengthens our belief in Finland’s biggest investment in the construction of wooden buildings and healthy homes that will last for generations.”

Keva and Suomen Puukerrostalot Oy have identified the first potential sites; the modules will be manufactured at Lindbäcks Bygg Ab’s mega factory, which has an annual production capacity of 1,600 homes. When Suomen Puukerrostalot Oy’s factory is completed, the modules will be built in Hämeenlinna.

“We are working together to find suitable sites in towns and cities where we could build affordable homes,” Suutarinen and Laurila explain. They also encourage all landowners to contact them and offer their plots.

The Finnish government’s wood construction programme has been extended until 2022; the programme aims to significantly increase the number of wood construction projects. Suomen Puukerrostalot is also expecting to see practical measures to support innovative investments that are recorded in the government platform.

In 2018, Lindbäcks Bygg Ab, the largest industrial manufacturer of wooden multi-storey buildings in Europe, signed a collaboration agreement with Suomen Puukerrostalot Oy, which it also co-owns. “Technological know-how will be shared when designing, producing and constructing actual projects,” says Stefan Lindbäck, CEO of Lindbäcks Bygg Ab.

According to comparisons made by the Swedish concrete industry’s Betong magazine, wood is a cheaper building material than concrete in Sweden. “Industrial manufacturing allows more people to move into a high-quality and more affordable home,” says Stefan Lindbäck, whose company builds almost 2,500 homes every year.

More information:
Petri Suutarinen, Head of Real Estate, Keva, tel. +358 400 330 322, petri.suutarinen@keva.fi
Teppo Laurila, CEO, Suomen Puukerrostalot Oy, tel. +358 50 517 1771, teppo.laurila@suomenpuukerrostalot.fi