Wooden industrial buildings

Stora Enso launches low-carbon industrial buildings solutions

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It’s never been this easy to build an industrial building in wood and it’s never been more important. We need to reduce global emissions to mitigate climate change and we need to provide adequate and productive working environments at the same time. We have launched a suite of tools to support developers of industrial buildings to create more attractive, productive and sustainable buildings, with spans ranging from 12 to 36 metres, from small workshops to large retail sheds and warehouses.

Stora Enso’s wooden industrial buildings allow developers to cut embodied emissions by up to 30%, while also benefiting from highly modular and flexible designs. Crucially, the new design tools incorporate a high degree of pre-fabrication, allowing for accelerated construction timelines, and can be configured for easy disassembly and reassembly as needs change. With new demands on warehouse space (available UK warehouse space estimated at less than 50m square feet with the potential to run out within a year, for example) thanks to the pandemic and rise in online shopping, wooden industrial buildings offer a way for developers to rapidly respond to market dynamics while also improving sustainability performance in light of today’s ESG pressures.

Tenants also benefit from an improved working atmosphere that has been shown to improve employee well-being and productivity by up to 13% and 8% respectively, as well as greater flexibility in use of the space as shown by Stora Enso’s own recent use of the designs in its Hyltebruk mill in Sweden.

Sebastián Hernandez, R&D Manager for Building Concepts at Stora Enso comments: “Industrial buildings are at the nexus of a number of megatrends in the UK. On the one hand, we have the moral and policy imperative to decarbonise our building stock; on the other, we have the planned renaissance of British manufacturing and shift to online shopping increasing demand for these types of structures.

“Not only can wooden industrial buildings enable companies to respond to these trends, but by moving away from monotone grey sheet metal and concrete, they can allow us to create better working environments for employees and improve the increase the quality of retail and industrial parks up and down the country.”

To support adoption of engineered timber for industrial buildings, Stora Enso has created a resource hub for architects and developers that includes fully interactive 3D models and technical specifications of eight different base types for different industrial buildings. These are pre-optimized for the most standard and common industrial buildings we see in the market and can used as a basis for designing bespoke concepts.

The industrial concept is the latest in a series of building concepts designed to support the construction industry in adopting mass engineered timber as a way to improve sustainability and building performance. Previous concepts include schools, offices and multi-storey residential buildings.

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