Three reasons why I love wood2021-10-20T08:36:21+02:00

Project Description

Three reasons why I love wood

Three reasons why I love wood

Anna Ervast Öberg, from Swedish property developer Folkhem, explains why wood is her building material of choice.

On a mission to change residential architecture in Sweden, the property developer Folkhem is at the forefront of the timber revolution. Working with a long list of eminent architecture practices such as Wingårdh Arkitektkontor, In Praise of Shadows, Utopia Arkitekter and Waugh Thistleton Architects, the developer is building thousands of new homes in the Stockholm area, all made from timber. We caught up with Anna Ervast Öberg, Operating Manager at Folkhem, and asked why wood is such an important material.

Anna Ervast Öberg, from Swedish property developer Folkhem

The Climate Crisis

Ervast Öberg explains that the main reason for using timber in Folkhem’s developments is because of climate change, as the construction industry is a large contributor of greenhouse gas emissions. “If we’re going to meet the worldwide targets of reductions in emissions, it’s incredibly important that we build with wood,” she says. As trees act as natural carbon dioxide sinks (absorbing CO2 as they grow), Anna points out that it’s the best resource we can use for construction; it’s a material that will let us store carbon in our buildings.

Wood in its potential in driving innovation

Driving Innovation

She goes on to highlight how a relatively low-tech material such as timber is joining forces with high-tech approaches to drive innovation in the construction industry. “We’re having to examine the way we do things – we’re changing processes to become more efficient, and changing mindsets along the way.” She continues: “It’s fascinating to see this straightforward material, which is easy to find, easy to understand and easy to work with, driving a revolution in construction.” She compares it to Lego: “The blocks are rather simple in themselves, but together, they give a million possibilities.”

She goes on to highlight how a relatively low-tech material such as timber is joining forces with high-tech approaches to drive innovation in the construction industry. “We’re having to examine the way we do things – we’re changing processes to become more efficient, and changing mindsets along the way.” She continues: “It’s fascinating to see this straightforward material, which is easy to find, easy to understand and easy to work with, driving a revolution in construction.” She compares it to Lego: “The blocks are rather simple in themselves, but together, they give a million possibilities.”

Everyone likes wood

Everyone likes wood

If we think about sustainability in a wider sense, it’s also about creating buildings that will last, and that people will love for a long time, explains Ervast Öberg. “There are so many wood species and aesthetic options available, the possibilities are endless. And it’s a material that most of us feel close to; we have a relationship with wood on a very basic level; it’s easy to like.” She also points out that in Sweden, there is a long culture of woodworking that starts during ‘sloyd’ lessons at schoolComing back to the question of climate change, Ervast Öberg sums up her thoughts:

“Wood is a simple answer to a complex question, and perhaps that’s why wood is so appealing; it’s a material that is easy to understand in a very complicated world.”

If we think about sustainability in a wider sense, it’s also about creating buildings that will last, and that people will love for a long time, explains Ervast Öberg. “There are so many wood species and aesthetic options available, the possibilities are endless. And it’s a material that most of us feel close to; we have a relationship with wood on a very basic level; it’s easy to like.” She also points out that in Sweden, there is a long culture of woodworking that starts during ‘sloyd’ lessons at schoolComing back to the question of climate change, Ervast Öberg sums up her thoughts:

“Wood is a simple answer to a complex question, and perhaps that’s why wood is so appealing; it’s a material that is easy to understand in a very complicated world.”

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Photos:

Folkhem, Unsplash & Prodema