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Metsä Wood: How can sustainability in construction be achieved without compromising efficiency? The Hybrid City initiative calls for innovation.

Metsä Wood’s Hybrid City initiative is searching for ways to make construction more sustainable while maintaining efficiency using current building methods. Improving sustainability is imperative: construction alone uses 50% of the world’s resources. However, the transition will only happen if construction companies can maintain efficiency. The world needs a Plan B.

Conventionally used materials such as concrete and steel dominate the construction industry, and construction alone uses half the world’s resources and causes 30% of all CO2 emissions. Responsible construction companies are feeling the pressure to meet the growing demand for more sustainable building. The answer to this need, without compromising efficiency, lies in hybrid construction: modular construction that practically combines wood and other construction materials.

“The challenge of improving sustainability in construction has been that construction companies have been asked to change both materials and building methods at the same time. The results aren’t great,” says Mikko Saavalainen, SVP, Business Development at Metsä Wood. “Instead, we need to find ways to help them in the transition by developing sustainable building elements that fit current ways of building. Hybrid is the solution.” 

A famous architect claims “Hybrid cities are better cities” – here’s why

All construction materials have their benefits, but wood is the only material

that stores carbon. Architect Tao Gofers – famous for the design of Sydney’s Sirius building – points out that more sustainable building can be achieved by replacing non-renewable materials with engineered wood like Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber)

“In many cases, as much as 25% of these materials could easily be replaced with Kerto LVL. The end result would be beautiful as well as more sustainable, because wood is an effective and aesthetic material. I believe wood elements will be an essential part of tomorrow’s better cities – hybrid cities,” says Gofers.

The most innovative hybrid construction idea to be awarded €10,000 

Metsä Wood is calling on building engineers and construction companies to join in an initiative to discover the world’s best solutions for more efficient, sustainable, modular and practical building methods.

The Hybrid City challenge can be accessed through the Open Source Wood platform.  Participants should select an existing multi-storey building made of non-wooden materials, choose an element used in the building and redesign it using Kerto LVL as the main material.

The closing date for entries is 31.5.2020, and the winners will be selected by a group of experts within the Open Source Wood community. The top prize for the most innovative solution is €10,000. Second and third places will be awarded €5,000 each. 

Find out more about Plan B: Hybrid City Challenge.

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