WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The spruce trees grown in Jukka Heikkonen's forest are soon to be used for building the Finnish Metsä Pavilion in Japan. During the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2020, the stylish wooden pavilion will serve as a meeting point for the Finnish Olympic team. The use of Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber) elements enables fast, light and green construction.
All the wood raw material that Metsä Wood uses comes from sustainably managed forests such as Jukka Heikkonen's family-owned forest. The wood will be engineered into Kerto LVL products that offer innovative and lightweight solutions for building efficiently. It is a highly green construction material: almost nothing goes to waste since every part of the tree is used in the best possible way. The by-products from the production - like sawdust, bark and chips - are utilised in pulp and bioenergy production. Part of the bioenergy is used in the production of Kerto LVL. As with all wood products, Kerto LVL stores carbon throughout the whole lifespan of the buildings built with it.
Generations of sustainable forestry
Family forestry is a typical and unique feature of forest management in Finland. The forest owned by Jukka Heikkonen belonged to his father and his father before him. "Our family has owned and managed this forest for three generations," Heikkonen tells. "It was my grandfather who purchased this forest in 1946."
Sustainable forestry always includes forest renewal. Each felled tree is replaced with four seedlings in the forest. "The story of the forest continues: new trees are always planted and taken good care of", says Heikkonen. The trees planted now will be fully grown when his children or grandchildren will be in charge of managing the forest.
A place for relaxation and recreation
"We've been running a holiday village here since the 1970s. Along the years, we've built several summer cottages and there are now fourteen of them," Heikkonen says. "Our guests appreciate how fresh, tranquil and serene Finnish nature is. They enjoy taking walks in the forest, or picking berries and mushrooms in the autumn, for example."
Some guests from Japan and China have planted individual trees in Heikkonen's forest. "We give them a yearly update on how the tree is growing. And after 60-80 years, they might even decide what the tree will be used for."
From Punkaharju to Tokyo, Japan
Heikkonen feels proud that 80-year-old trees from his forest will be used in the construction of the Metsä Pavilion.
"It is fun to imagine how the spruce logs first make their way to Metsä Wood's Punkaharju mill, only some 24 kilometres from our forest. At the mill, the logs will be turned into Kerto LVL and then delivered to the Finnish element manufacturer. The ready-made elements will then be shipped to Tokyo. This great building really concretises the long-term work we have done in managing the forest," Heikkonen continues.
"And who knows, maybe I'll travel to Japan to marvel at the new shape of the trees."
Watch a video about Jukka Heikkonen explaining what it is like to own forest in Finland.
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SOURCE Metsä Wood