News | 15.03.2022

Ramboll joins the Low carbon building collaboration project as a design partner

Ramboll joins the collaboration project between NCC Finland, Stora Enso and Combient Pure to promote low carbon building. The design and consulting company brings to the collaboration its extensive low carbon construction expertise, which helps bring forward low carbon alternatives along the entire construction value chain. The collaboration began in fall 2021 and will continue until the spring of 2022. It focuses especially on mass timber building solutions. 

NCC Finland, Stora Enso and Combient Pure started the collaboration in the autumn of 2021, with the aim of making it easier for property owners and developers to choose low carbon construction solutions. The collaboration continues during the spring 2022, where the focus will be on highlighting the emission reduction effects of low carbon building materials. Also solutions that can minimize emissions from new buildings will be presented. Ramboll joins the collaboration in a design role, bringing in expertise in mass timber building design.

Design plays a significant role in reducing emissions from construction

During the autumn, the group of companies has deep-dived into low-carbon mass timber construction through two pilot sites. A project team of experts from Combient Pure, NCC and Stora Enso has looked at residential and commercial buildings from a conversion perspective: what does it mean to turn buildings designed with concrete structures into mass timber versions? By comparing the alternatives, we can learn about both the emission effects of the materials and the differences related to the construction process itself.

During the project it has become eminent that design is in a central position for significantly reducing material-based emissions. Changing the main building material affects the entire construction process, from project planning to production. In addition to the mass timber conversion option, the project team identified the need to look at an alternative version that would be originally designed from mass timber, especially for the residential apartment building project used as a pilot case.

- In construction, wood is the only renewable material that grows back. In addition, it is light and quick to install, as well as the best option in terms of carbon footprint. Wood is also well compatible with other materials and enables hybrid construction. Thanks to the light weight of the mass timber elements, truck deliveries to the construction site can also be reduced by up to 80%, says Antto Kauhanen, Stora Enso's Business Development Manager.

- Instead of conversions, it is relevant to look at a building designed from mass timber from the start, and compare the initial concrete frame version with it. This allows equal starting points for both materials, and the best result is achieved both technically and economically as well as from the emission reductions point of view, Kauhanen continues.

Ramboll's involvement offers the project team the opportunity to make a new review, in which the residential building pilot is designed from mass timber from the beginning. As a result, it is possible to compare the building's emissions and design differences through three different options: 1) the building designed by using concrete as the main material, 2) the previous plan converted to mass timber and 3) the building designed from mass timber from the beginning. In addition to the third design plan, Ramboll will also conduct the lifecycle emission calculations for the three different options.

- It is really great to be able to promote low carbon and sustainable construction. Enabling wood construction together with other building materials requires good and proactive planning. Sustainable development is at the heart of our strategy, and cooperation with our enthusiastic partners implements it in a great way, says Juha-Pekka Smolander, Ramboll's Customer Relationship Manager.

Designing mass timber buildings differs from the design of concrete-framed buildings, which from NCC's point of view also means changes in, for example, design guidance and procurement processes.

–  Ramboll's involvement in the Low carbon building project will increase the depth of the collaboration and improve the overview of the entire value chain in the development project. Working together with significant partners also ensures that the results are translated into practice in real projects, says Pekka Kiuru, NCC's Director of Development.

Impact for climate action through multi-company collaboration 

During the spring 2022, Ramboll, NCC Finland, Stora Enso and the collaboration orchestrator Combient Pure, will work closely to share and produce information and develop practices to promote low carbon building throughout the value chain. As a result of the project, these key players in the Nordic construction value chain will be even better placed to offer low carbon building solutions to property owners, investors and users with climate targets.

Our project partners are brought together by the will to significantly reduce emissions in the entire construction industry. By cooperating with large companies, we can accelerate critical climate action and create wide impact. Both Stora Enso, NCC and Ramboll operate in the Nordic countries, which means that the results of the cooperation can also be scaled outside Finland, says Marika Määttä, Head of Combient Pure.

Combient is a Nordic cross-industry collaboration network of 34 leading Nordic companies, which aims to develop the business of its member companies. Combient Pure is the network's newest initiative to create low-carbon and circular value chains. Pure develops impactful and sustainable multi-enterprise solutions together with Combient members and companies in their value chains. www.combientpure.com

NCC is one of the leading construction companies in the Nordic countries . We manage complex construction processes and through construction we have a positive impact on our customers and society. Our Group's business areas are real estate development, construction and infrastructure projects, and the production of asphalt and aggregates. In 2021, NCC had a turnover of approximately SEK 53 billion and 13,000 employees. NCC is listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. www.ncc.fi

Ramboll is a leading design and consulting company for sustainable cities and societies. Our foundation-owned company employs 16,000 experts globally. In Finland, we operate nationwide with 2,500 experts. Our services are innovative and sustainable solutions for the design, construction, building and maintenance of cities, infrastructure, transport, the environment and buildings. https://fi.ramboll.com/ 

Part of the bioeconomy, Stora Enso is a leading global provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper. Building on the heritage and know-how in forestry and trees, Stora Enso is committed to the development of products and technologies based on renewable materials. Stora Enso has approximately 22,000 employees, and is publicly listed on the Helsinki and Stockholm stock exchanges. Stora Enso’s sales in 2021 were EUR 10.2 billion, with an operational EBIT of EUR 1,528 million. www.storaenso.com

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