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Södra to increase CLT timber frame production ten-fold at Värö

Swedish forest owners association Södra has announced that its new cross-laminated timber (CLT) has been well received by the market. So much so that it is investing in a new facility that will increase the production capacity of timber frames ten-fold. The facility is expected to be commissioned in mid-2022.

Södra’s new facility for the production of cross-laminated timber (CLT) is scheduled for completion in 2022. The plant premises will comprise a 270 metre-long building. The frame consists of glued-laminated timber (GLT), which is combined with CLT, produced by Södra, as well as the remainder of the structural timber and the cladding of the building (image courtesy Södra).

The new facility is being built at Södra’s forest industry complex in Värö, north of Varberg, where Södra’s first CLT facility is located. The new facility is expected to be commissioned in mid-2022.

The facility will be able to deliver frame material for 4 000 homes each year, representing a ten-fold increase in production compared with current levels at Södra’s existing facility.

Increasing timber-frame construction is a key aspect of the climate transition and there are multiple advantages with CLT. In addition to at least halving the climate impact compared with other materials, this technology also results in a shorter construction time. This is a key milestone in Södra’s initiative to become one of the Nordic region’s leading players in CLT, said Lotta Lyrå, President and CEO of Södra.

Rapid development changing the construction market

The interest in sustainable timber construction has increased significantly in the market – and the trend is continuing. In 2020, 20 percent of all newly built housing units in apartment buildings in Sweden had a timber frame, which is a considerable increase compared with earlier years.

Next year, 2022, the Act on Climate Declarations will also be introduced, imposing requirements to promote more sustainable construction. This is expected to further drive up the interest in CLT.

The trend for CLT is highly positive. Today, the demand in the market is larger than the available capacity and we want to fill this gap. By developing new, innovative products, we can safeguard our competitiveness and create value for members, customers, and employees – both old and new, said Jörgen Hermansson, President of Södra Building Systems.

Significant carbon footprint reduction

On average, the frame accounts for nearly half of the climate footprint when constructing apartment buildings with three to eight storeys. With Södra’s frame in CLT, this figure can be reduced by up to 80 percent compared with a traditional concrete structure.

This development is about to revolutionize the construction market since industrialization and prefabrication also enable increased productivity.

We want to contribute to productivity development and climate transition in the construction industry. We will do this by sharing knowledge with our stakeholders, developing our offering to the market, and investing in new capacity so that our partners can continue to grow. We are now creating the conditions for the next generation of construction and providing opportunities to make a climate-conscious choice in the housing market, said Jörgen Hermansson.

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