Wood Business

Industry News News
Finland building project to demonstrate sustainability of wood construction value chains

November 24, 2021  By VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Architectural plans of the Northern Basajaun demo buildings by UNStudio.

Engineered wood products can make a large contribution to transforming the construction sector from a source of carbon into a sink. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland will construct a 500 square metre demo building made of novel wood-based materials and components developed in the Basajaun EU project.

The main objective of the Basajaun project is to demonstrate that wood construction value chains can be optimized to foster both rural development and urban transformation whilst being connected with sustainable forest management in Europe. The idea is to enable the construction of a mid-sized building with the lowest possible hectares of forest.

Two full-scale medium-sized demo buildings will be constructed in the Basajaun EU project: one in Finland and the other in France, using innovative architecture and a complete digitalization of the Forest-to-Building-chain to show how wood construction can create benefits for rural areas.

Northern Basajaun demo to be built in Jyväskylä

VTT has started a construction project to build a Northern demo building made of wood-based materials and components developed in the Basajaun EU project.


The Northern demo building will be finished in 2022, and it will be situated beside VTT’s premises in Jyväskylä, Finland. The building of approximately 500 square metres will have a combined meeting and exhibition space as well as two warehouses.

‘The wood-based construction materials will include thermal insulation materials, structural insulation panels (SIP) and wood-plastic composites (WPC), for example. The long-term behaviour of the developed solutions will be monitored during several years and compared against the commercially available products’, tells Senior Scientist Petri Jetsu from VTT.

VTT is responsible for executing the demo building, and UNStudio (the Netherlands) has made an architectural design of the building.

‘The demo building design takes advantage of its surroundings: on one side, it is connected to the existing buildings on the site; and on the other side, the main façade is directed towards the Jyväsjärvi lake views. This experimental building relates the traditional wooden architecture from Finland to the future of construction in wood through a mindful design and carefully crafted details. The construction systems designed for the project are modular, and materials developed in the Basajaun consortium are sustainable and bio-based’, tells Architect Alejandro Sanchez Pena from UNStudio.

The following companies will supply materials and components to the demo building in Finland: Grupo Garnica Plywood S.A. (Spain), Moelven Töreboda AB (Sweden), Focchi Spa (Italy), Soprema (France), Omikron-Dokk Kft (Hungary), Elastopoli Oy (Finland) and Irurena SA (Spain).

Healthier and sustainable cities for Europeans

The global purpose of the Basajaun project is to foster the adoption of wood as raw material in products and building solutions and demonstrate that they contribute to increasing the quality, habitability and performance of the European building stock with many benefits for healthier, sustainable cities. Better integration of wood products in the construction sector stimulates more sustainable development of rural regions.

‘With the Basajaun initiative, we demonstrate that high value-added wood products can be designed and developed on a lab scale, scaled up and used to construct two complete buildings with the aim of a digitized wood value chain and the promotion of rural areas’, tells Javier García-Jaca, Project Director from TECNALIA.

The 4-year Basajaun EU project was started in 2019. It comprises 29 partners from 12 countries, including 7 leading research and technology organizations, 3 universities, 16 companies and 3 other public and sectoral organizations. The project is coordinated by the TECNALIA Research and Innovation Foundation. The total budget of the project is EUR 12.2 million, of which the EU is funding EUR 10 million (EU Horizon 2020 R&D&I grant agreement no. 862942).

The name of the project refers to Basque mythology where Basajaun is a huge character teaching humans agriculture and other skills.

Basajaun web site: basajaun-horizon.eu

Print this page


Stories continue below