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Results of the business-mission of Karelian companies to Västerbotten

5 june 2018

The visit was organized by Swedish-Karelian Business and Information Center, County Administrative Board of Västerbotten, Skellefteå municipality and the Development Corporation of the Republic of Karelia.

Participants of the mission from the Karelian side representaed enterprises of wooden housing construction, lumber and woodworking, architects, specialists in the implementation of energy-efficient technologies in house building, experts from companies that produce biofuels from forest industry residues.

During the visit, meetings took place in the administration of Skellefteå municipality, a city, famous for its cultural and historical heritage and modern technologies of wooden housing construction, Thyrens architectural bureau, developing environmentally sustainable urban development projects, Swedish Research Institute RISE and the local campus of Luleå University of Technology, which possesses unique technologies of woodworking.

The visit also included tours to the local companies Norsjo Tratrapport (production of wooden stairs), Derome plusshus and Lindbacks (the production of wooden houses in a modular system).

As a result of the participation of the Karelian entrepreneurs in a study tour to Sweden, new business contacts have become available, which will undoubtedly be continued in the form of joint projects, as well as unique knowledge gained about the technologies and materials used by the Swedes in wooden construction.

According to architect Evgeny Tayev, a participant of the mission, one of the brightest impressions received during the trip was unique wooden structures, such as 9-storey houses, perfectly inscribed in the surrounding landscape; bridges built without supports; frame modules that are produced in factory conditions and then become the “cubes” placed one on another when constructing a bigger house.

Participants of the visit emphazised the efficiency of interaction between the Swedish authorities, science and business for making it possible to create such objects in the urban landscape as an 18-storey wooden cultural center, a multi-storey wooden parking lot or a quarter of modern residential buildings houses with a high degree of energy efficiency.

The mission participants shared the view formed during the trip that it would be important for Karelia to use wood more actively as a building material. This requires cooperation between the government and business, for example, the construction of a factory for the production of wooden panels and modules, which could later be used in mass construction, including for the solution of social issues, such as, for example, resettlement of rundown housing or attraction of youth to the countryside.