May 6, 2022

Timber Construction makes happy

Since the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures in winter is a good 40 degrees, the insulation of homes is a major issue in Finland. Since the 1990s, there has been an increasing focus on solid wood houses, as they have proven their worth in balancing air and heat and, on top of that, create a comfortable living atmosphere. It is even rumored that wood as a building material makes the Finns the happiest people in the world.

Companies such as Honka and Polarlifehouse successfully build modern log houses for the Finnish and European markets. By dispensing with additional insulating material and traditional cross corners, they create a contemporary image of a traditional house type and thus strike a chord with a growing customer base from both an aesthetic and functional point of view. Pure wood is an integral part of the Scandinavian design language, creating a natural living environment that is free of questionable substances and recyclable by type.

In addition, it has been found that heavily insulated houses in Finland react to the large temperature difference of -20°C outside in winter and 20°C inside with mold. Wood can overcome this challenge, which is why Finland has been focusing on building with wood since the 1990s. In the economic crisis of the 1990s, people turned back to green gold – as wood is also known in Finland – and specifically promoted its use. In particular, kindergarten and school buildings in Finland are almost exclusively made of timber – a fact that the wood industry proudly considers a contribution to the happiness of its countrymen.

More than 70% of Finland's land is covered with forest. Most of it is privately owned. The families who manage the forests do not live from the sale of wood alone, but they still manage the forests in a sustainable way. Because with the increasing popularity of the building material, anything other than sustainable management would be unattractive.

In order for architects to be able to use timber construction skilfully, and thus not least to promote the acceptance of timber buildings in society, educational initiatives have been established, and courses of study and research projects have been set up. Most kindergartens and schools in Finland are built of wood, and examples such as the Wood City in Helsinki are fascinating because of their connection to the traditional wooden city and the use of state-of-the-art technologies.

We would like to thank our guests Mika Askola from Polarlifehouse, Daniel Langer from Honkarakenne, Janne Pihlajaniemi, professor at the University of Oulu, Seppo Romppainen from the Finnish Log House Industry and Petri Sirviö from Business Oulu for the insight into Finnish timber construction and the interesting discussions! Together with IntCDC, digitize wood organized a tour of the workshops and presentation of the ongoing projects as well as exchange with our guests on 03.05.2022.

Info und registration

Admission: free of charge

Registration: required

Venue: Kurhaus Menzenschwand, Winterhalterweg 1, 79837 St. Blasien

Language: German

Please note: Please bring sturdy shoes and warm clothing for the guided forest walk.

The event has been submitted to the Baden-Württemberg Chamber of Architects for consideration for recognition for continuing education and training.

We will record and publish the event in audio and video for documentation, reporting and evaluation purposes, including on websites and social media. With your registration you agree to this use.

Arrival by car: Free parking is available at the Kurhaus. We recommend that you carpool, as the free parking spaces may not be sufficient.

Arrival by public transport: From Freiburg, take the S1 line to the Aha train station. A bus shuttle can be arranged there if needed. Please indicate your need when registering. We will then get in touch with you.



Cluster of Excellence Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture (IntCDC).
The University of Stuttgart established its new Cluster of Excellence on Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture in 2019. With an initial funding period of seven years, a Cluster of Excellence is the most significant and substantial grant awarded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). For the very first time, a Cluster of Excellence has been awarded to the field of Architecture. It will contribute to establishing an internationally visible research center.

About Zentrum Holzbau Schwarzwald

About Zentrum Holzbau Schwarzwald

As a center for innovation and knowledge transfer, the ZHS will bundle regional competencies in the fields of timber construction, forestry, architecture, design, interior design and promote the exchange between research and practice. The practice will be brought together with research institutions and universities to advance timber construction and thus make an important contribution to CO2 savings. It is also about the question of what the forest will look like in the future in times of climate change and how it can guarantee the supply of raw materials. Contacts have already been made with universities in forestry, construction planning and architecture. Regional initiatives such as Naturpark Südschwarzwald, the Black Forest Biosphere Reserve, Klimapartner Oberrhein and many others have also been actively involved in the development of the ZHS. The Forest Research Institute Freiburg has helped to develop the project from the very beginning.

A separate non-profit limited liability company (GmbH) was founded to support the project. Shareholders are the companies Baur WohnFaszination, GUTEX, Holzbau Bruno Kaiser, Holzwarth, Lignotrend and Rothmund Leimholz, the Berufsförderungswerk der Südbadischen Bauwirtschaft, the Verein Bauwerk Schwarzwald, the Sparkasse St. Blasien, the city of St. Blasien and the district of Waldshut.

The use of wood has a long tradition in the Black Forest. Some of the most innovative companies in the industry have their headquarters in the Waldshut district. The focus of the ZHS is on children, pupils and students with their teachers, but also on all companies, craftsmen and craftswomen who deal with the subject of wood. Especially they shall benefit from the offers of the ZHS. An extensive range of further training courses will take the knowledge "into the field".

Contact: Stefan Kudermann, Managing Director Zentrum Holzbau Schwarzwald

Exzellenzcluster Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture (IntCDC) – Die Zukunft der Architektur und des Bauwesens gestalten durch wirklich integrative computergestützte Planung und Konstruktion.