Metsä Wood, a Finnish engineered wood product company, has awarded the Estonian start-up Team 99 for its innovative design of a module that can be used to construct buildings of different sizes and shapes, at the same time reducing their overall carbon footprint. The module has been completely designed using Metsä Wood’s Kerto LVL (laminated veneer lumber) products – making the design fast, light and green.
The awarded design was one of the outcomes of the wood hackathon Future of Wood, organised by the Academy of Art and Garage 48 in Tallinn. The event, which attracted about 100 participants, aimed to develop climate-friendly solutions through the most efficient use of wood, the natural and renewable building material.
Metsä Wood challenged the participants to design a single element or module, built using an innovation advancing the use of Kerto LVL in modular urban construction. The teams were asked to upload their prototypes to the Open Source Wood online platform opensourcewood.com, which aims to share innovations in modular wooden buildings. The winners were chosen by a jury consisting of Metsä Wood’s technical experts.
Priit Reinpõld, a member of the €1,500 award-winning Team 99, says that the team’s mission at the hackathon was to come up with a solution that would help everyone to build better. “By better, I mean faster, higher and greener. The entry for the Open Source Wood Challenge includes a universal modular building unit that realises this aspiration,” he concludes.
The system presented by the winning team was designed to offer a modern method for timber joinery, combining traditional carpentry techniques and performed by CNC machines, using engineered wood products like Kerto® LVL. In addition to technical aspects, sustainability and buildings’ entire lifecycle were considered.
“To enable reuse or even upcycling of materials after a building has served its purpose, it’s critical to avoid mixing materials. The offered solution makes this achievable, opening up the possibility of designing and creating carbon-neutral buildings,” Reinpõld says. The other members of the winning team were Sten-Mark Mändmaa, Kristel Ratassepp, Elar Rämmeld and Kaarel Susi.
“At Metsä Wood, we believe that professional knowledge sharing on modular wood construction and its advantages helps to introduce wood’s advantages as a building material to wider audiences. Open Source Wood enables users to share their wood-based designs and see others’ designs as well,” said Tuukka Kyläkallio from Metsä Wood, one of the mentors at the hackathon.
“The Tallinn event was fantastic – it turned out to be an inspiring weekend, filled with innovation, cross-industry teamwork and an infectious joy in experimenting with wood. The results of the weekend – many innovative ideas using wood as a primary material – proved the power of collaboration and open knowledge sharing, the fundamentals of the Open Source Wood initiative.”
Open Source Wood is an open platform for sharing knowledge and innovation in modular wood construction, hosted by Metsä Wood. On opensourcewood.com, architects and engineers can share their ideas and designs, have them evaluated by other wood industry professionals and receive support for further development of their ideas. It can also serve as a tutoring or knowledge-sharing platform for students, or as an inspirational tool for anyone working in wood construction. All the designs shared on opensourcewood.com, including the winning design by Team 99, are freely available to anyone.
See the winning design “Full-Shell LVL module.“