Round small diameter timber for construction market in Finland

Anna-Leena Perälä

Research output: Book/ReportReport


Presently small roundwood (dia. 8 - 15 cm) is used in Finland for paper industry pulp, firewood or, on a limited scale, as sawn goods primarily in the countryside and yards. The purpose of this EU FAIR subproject is to seek potential markets for the product in Finnish construction. Similar reports on the United Kingdom, France, Holland and Austria will be made by the parties in each respective country. The research has consisted of brainstorming sessions, statistical data, expert interviews, literature searches and the data banks and construction marketrelated expertise of VTT Building Technology in Tampere. This report include also construction directions in Europe until 2000. The volume and structure of construction has its impact on potential demand for the product. New construction in Finland has declined since the boom at turn of the 1990s, but the trend is now improving. The 1993 level of construction was selected as the potential level of this study since the largest amount of the most detailed information was available on that year. Rougher estimates have also been made of the 1995 and 2000 levels. The annual growth of small roundwood is about 1,8 million m3 in Finland which could be suitable best to construction. Small diameter construction timber is nearly endless resource in Finland. At the estimated potential levels 250,000 m3 could be used in construction (1993 level). Of that, new building construction would use 110,000 m3 in structures, 60,000 m3 would be used on building sites, 40,000 m3 in yard equipments and 30,000 m3 in renovation. With the selected market shares civil engineering would consume 10,000 m3. If the market share had been loom in each case, the potential level would have been 10-fold. Construction uses about 0.4 m3/inhabitant of sawn goods and the potential for small roundwood would be 0.05 m3/inhabitant. In the year 2000 the potential might be 270,000 m3. In these areas could develop many kinds of innovative structures, but clients must want to use them. In building construction, as concerns structures, buildings less than 200 m2 in area were selected. The key target groups are summer-houses, traffic-related and storage buildings, farm buildings, private homebuilding and use on building sites and yard equipments (landscaping). Big buildings is very small market area to small roundwood in Finland. In civil engineering, with about 10% market shares, the most important target groups are bridge construction as and park equipment. There might also be potential use in scaffolds supports during work. Nature tourism could need more shelter and landscaping to forest areas but we must market them intensively. The interviews indicated that hardly any small roundwood is used in construction today. Some was used in rural areas and in fences. Architects and structural designers would be willing to use the products also in small warehouse frames (storages), farm buildings, yards, renovation, parks, etc. Log has long been used for building frames. It is generally heavier than small roundwood. Architects and structural designers would appreciate a product that is of uniform quality, readily available, standardised, slightly processed, used locally, longlasting and, for indoor use, of neat appearance. In landscaping treatment is important. Small roundwood is most often seen as a competitor of sawn goods, but stone-based products are also in the picture as concerns yard construction. The product must be priced competitively and easy to install. Good showcase projects and instructions promote the use of the product since end-users and designers have to be convinced of a product's advantages. A long list of potential products was generated in the brainstorming sessions, but the markets for them are often very small.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages46
ISBN (Print)951-38-5166-4
Publication statusPublished - 1997
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

SeriesVTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes


  • structural timber
  • roundwood
  • wooden structures
  • construction materials
  • market share
  • Finland


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