Karlstad University in Sweden and researcher Johan Vessby has received a grant from the Swedish bioeconomy cluster Paper Province. The funding will be used to investigate areas of use for residual products of cross-laminated timber to develop industrial timber construction.
Paper Province is a world leading business cluster and innovation platform, supporting new sustainable solutions sprung from the forest. Recently the cluster granted € 36,000 to Johan Vessby, Senior lecturer and researcher in the field of Construction Technology at Karlstad University.
Johan Vessby’s team is researching how residuals from cross-laminated timber, also known as CLT, can be used in new and innovative ways in the construction sector. The residual products occur in the production of CLT panels, for example, when cutting out space for windows and doors.
“It feels inspiring to be active in a part of the construction sector that is growing so much and where there are great opportunities to contribute to a more sustainable future”, says Johan Vessby.
Sustainable solution to housing shortage
Sweden has a housing shortage. A National Board of Housing forecast states that 700,000 apartments must be built by 2025. At the same time, there is a concern about how the construction sector affects the climate. But there are solutions growing in the Swedish forests and the forest industry. CLT is one of them.
Building with sustainably grown timber has several environmental benefits. It is a renewable material that binds carbon dioxide while growing and can store carbon during the lifetime of the building. CLT is increasing in popularity, thanks to its environmental advantages, light weight, and strength.
Scandinavian public procurers, such as municipalities, are showing an increasing interest in wooden buildings. For example, many public buildings in Sweden, like schools and sports arenas, are currently being built from wood and CLT.
Surplus CLT can be cut into boards that have very good properties thanks to special layering wood fibres in two perpendicular directions. A board made of CLT can withstand four times the load of a regular wooden board when loaded perpendicularly to its length direction.
Research grants are important measures to discover new innovative products that will further develop the construction sector and to provide the industry with ways to build more advanced products. The Paper Province grant will be used to carry out a six-month study to find more areas of use for CLT residual products.
“The research is intended to improve and further develop timber construction, with the aim of building more environmentally smart in the future. Support from Paper Province and the Region Värmland County Council plays an important role in continuing this type of development, but it is also important that manufacturing companies are involved in projects like this one. This is part of the process of developing and making the most of the wood material,” Johan Vessby says.
Major investment in wood research
Karlstad University is working actively to develop its wood research and the research group, together with its partners, has in the last year received considerable funding from various funders to develop timber construction. The University works closely with companies like Moelven, Derome, Hilmer Andersson and Stora Enso, among others. Paper Province comes in as an important funder and an industry intermediary.