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Tue October 20 2020

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Site work begins for Finnish modular timber building

26 Feb Finland-based contractor YIT has begun construction of its first timber-based modular apartment building.

Similarity with previous projects in the same area will enable it to compare construction using wood with other approaches.

YIT has long been using modular bathroom, slab and wall elements – partly manufactured by YIT and partly acquired from external suppliers – but the project in Tampere will be its first residential project built entirely from modules.

The As Oy Tampereen Tohtori project will be built on Tieteenkatu Street in the city’s Hervanta suburb.

“In line with our strategy, we seek to enhance our operational productivity by reducing wastage and by shortening the turnaround time of our projects,” said YIT executive vice president. “Construction with modules and prefabricates is perfectly in line with these objectives. As part of our Green Growth development programme, we are also investigating our opportunities to reduce the CO2 emissions caused by our operations and products.”

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YIT has already built three so-called ‘Smartti’ projects in Hervanta. The Smartti residential concept is designed to combine functionality with adaptability. Smartti projects make extensive use of prefabrication and focus on the efficient use of space.

“In our projects, our aim is to continuously investigate alternative material and production solutions and their environmental impacts,” said Inkilä. “Different types of properties being built on the same block under the same conditions provide us with a unique opportunity to compare wood construction with concrete construction and more traditional construction with modular construction.”

As advantages of modular construction, Inkilä lists fast capital turnover, a shorter construction period, lower costs of construction in winter and fewer negative impacts on the environment surrounding the construction site, among other things. Occupational safety and working conditions improve when the majority of construction work is carried out in a factory instead of outside on a construction site, he added.

YIT is building Tampereen Tohtori as a rental housing project for the OP-Vuokratuotto special fund. “When Tampereen Tohtori is completed, the number of apartments we own in wooden apartment buildings will increase to approximately 300,” said Kari Kangasmaa, construction manager at OP Real Estate Asset Management. “We will invest in wooden apartment buildings as part of our residential property investment operations in the future, too. Wood construction is a good match with our values on our journey towards reducing carbon dioxide emissions and increasing wood construction in Finland. The promotion of modular construction and the transition of construction production indoors are also a good way to develop construction practices and to ensure that the quality criteria for the building and the apartments are met.”

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