NOHEVA project builds low-carbon networks for wood construction and industrial tourism

The kick-off of the two-year NOHEVA project, i.e. Low-carbon crisis preparedness from wooden construction and tourism, was held in Nivala on 16 May. Led by the University of Oulu Kerttu Saalasti Institute and mainly funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the ELY Centre of North Ostrobothnia, the project is running from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2025.
ihmisiä neuvotteluhuoneen pöydän ääressä

The aim of the NOHEVA project is to raise the profile of North Ostrobothnia as a centre for solid wood construction, where companies operating in wood construction value chains network with each other to promote low-carbon solutions. The starting point for the project is a network of companies focusing on industrial wood construction and modular construction based on CLT elements. The network will be developed in Nivala and more extensively in North Ostrobothnia. Under the leadership of experts, companies form a vision for the future of the industry, anticipate potential crises and legislative changes, and prepare for the impacts of climate change on business operations.

The NOHEVA project kick-off in Nivala brought together entrepreneurs interested in wood construction. There are currently 13 companies involved in the project. Sales Director Ville Manninen from CrossLam Kuhmo started by emphasizing the importance of networking and welcomed companies from Nivala to visit the Kuhmo wood construction cluster. Professor Markku Karjalainen, a leading expert in wood construction from the University of Tampere, talked about the status of wood construction in Finland.

In Finland, 85% of single-family houses are wood-framed, but only 150 wooden apartment buildings containing 4,800 apartments have been built. The biggest growth opportunities for wood use are found in apartment buildings, public construction, halls and silos. The key advantages of industrial wood construction include its ecology and renewability as a raw material, the speed of the construction method, light weight, high prefabricatability and indoor serial production.

Karjalainen also pointed out that the environmental impact assessment criteria for construction materials will be included in Finnish construction regulations beginning on 1 January 2025, which will inevitably affect the use of wood in construction, the operations of construction and wood product companies and future challenges of the construction market.

The second objective of the NOHEVA project is to promote industrial tourism. By serving as a showcase for ecological wood construction, the wood construction network attracts national and international visitors to the area. The project helps entrepreneurs to create and pilot tourism packages suitable for different user groups, with an emphasis on sustainability, nature, silence and authenticity.

Entrepreneur Liisa Jäppinen of the Hiekka Booking company in Kalajoki stated that the number of business visitors to the area has so far been limited, but tailored services may attract companies in the future. Companies can be offered accommodation and additional services according to the customer's needs. A memorable experience for a company visitor lays a solid foundation for the customer relationship and better opportunities for making a deal.

The third objective of the project is to improve the knowledge and preparedness of wood construction and nature tourism companies as well as other stakeholders, such as municipalities, concerning the risks posed by climate change. The project organizes workshops for municipal decision-makers. As crisis preparedness increases, regional security of supply will also be strengthened.

More information: Project Manager Ulla Lehtinen, tel. +358 50 4761 624

Last updated: 27.11.2023