Massive wood frame has considerable life-cycle emission reduction potential

Press release May 25, 2022

NCC, Stora Enso, Ramboll and Combient Pure collaborate on increasing the offering of low-carbon framing solutions for new building production

NCC Finland, Stora Enso, Ramboll and Combient Pure have been collaborating on a project with the target to create a wider choice of tangible low-carbon building materials especially for the frame solutions of new buildings. The companies have worked together for the last year with the purpose to study massive wood frame solutions and their life-cycle emission reduction potential.

Material choices have a considerable impact on a building’s life-cycle emissions. The choice of frame solution is made at an extremely early stage in the building design process. There is not much information available on the emission impacts of the different framing options at the point of decision-making. It is exactly this demand that NCC, Stora Enso and Ramboll have now responded to led by Combient Pure. Making information available on viable frame choices will help develop low-carbon buildings, thereby reducing the carbon footprint of new building construction.

Massive wood frame has considerable life-cycle emission reduction potential

A closer look on the construction value chain allows companies to find out which main material solutions and framing structures have the best emission reduction potential. The multi-company collaboration comprised reviewing the structural designs of a residential building and an office building especially regarding their material choices and emission impacts, making comparisons between different alternative options.

The material choices and emission data of a multi-story apartment building were considered based on three building designs prepared for similar plot:

  • building designed with the use of concrete as the main material

  • the above design, but converted to a structure based on massive wood, and

  • optimized design for the use of massive wood as the main material.

Regarding the office building, the study was made based on two designs prepared for similar plot:

  • building designed with the use of concrete as the main material

  • building design optimized for massive wood and low-carbon concrete as the main materials.

The reviewed building designs with massive wood as the main building material brought an approximately 15 – 21% emission reduction over the building’s entire life cycle. The greatest impacts were seen in the load-bearing walls and intermediate floors of the residential building which enabled reaching over 70% emission reductions provided the use of a massive wood solution.

The results of the collaboration revealed that a building’s carbon footprint can be significantly reduced using the already existing massive wood solutions, says Tomi Jussila, Tomi Jussila, Stora Enso’s Sales Director, Building Solutions.

Find out more about the described building projects and their emission calculations:

Collaboration across the entire value chain makes optimal low-carbon choices more easily available

When the emission data is shared throughout the value chain, buildings can be efficiently designed to minimize emissions. In this collaboration the building material manufacturer, the design firm and the construction company have worked closely together, which – unlike in a conventional building process – has enabled comparing the different design solutions, refining the process as well as making the best choices for reducing emissions.

The design phase in industrial massive wood construction is often longer than that of traditional industrialized construction. One of the reasons for this is that the compatibility of massive wood elements with the remaining materials must be coordinated by design before the manufacturing of the wood elements can start. Our collaboration was successful in managing the design process efficiently by open sharing of the information between all companies involved.

”The cost-efficiency of wood construction is mostly based on high prefabrication degree of the components in which the structural design and multi-disciplinary approach play a critical role. That’s why we can really influence the CO2 emissions of the structures already in the preliminary project development phase,” Wood Construction Specialist Jaakko Paloheimo of Ramboll says.

Such a collaborative approach makes it possible for the end customer to receive transparent information about the different material choices at an early enough stage, when the decisions on the main building materials are still being made.

“Thanks to the collaboration between the different contributors to the value chain, NCC is now more capable of proposing their clients to build massive wood framed buildings. Apart from that, NCC, together with the other participants, has been able to develop the overall process of the projects to the benefit of all parties,” Head of Development Pekka Kiuru of NCC comments.

Collaboration between major companies is a new way to create and promote impactful climate solutions

Working together across the value chain is not very common outside conventional client-supplier relationships. However, inter-organizational co-operation can solve business challenges that individual companies are unable to solve on their own. Multi-company collaboration can help companies share the information, accelerate their product development and innovation activity as well as share costs and risks. Nevertheless, collaborative projects often require some third-party organization to steer the activity. In this collaboration, Combient Pure has acted as a neutral organizer of the work, planning and supervising the co-operation between the different companies and experts representing them.

”Multi-company collaboration between major companies requires a neutral orchestrator to take the lead: thereby it is made sure everybody works towards the common goal, that everyone takes active part in the activity and innovates together. The mission of Combient Pure is to accelerate climate solutions by orchestrating exactly this kind of multi-company collaboration projects,” summarizes Marika Määttä, Head of Combient Pure.

Read more:

Further information to media:

Marika Määttä, Head of Combient Pure, Combient,, tel. +358 40 758 2804

Pekka Kiuru, Head of Development, NCC Suomi,, tel. +358 50 673 91

Jaakko Paloheimo, Wood Construction Specialist, Ramboll Finland Oy,, p. +358 40 0460 144

Satu Härkönen, Head of Communications, Stora Enso,, tel. +358 40 8327458

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