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Better living worldwide

WOODWORLD’s prefabricated timber buildings combine advanced construction technology with natural materials and contemporary architectural design. Half a century of experience, together with a strong commitment to quality, have given WOODWORLD the ability to create buildings with a human touch that can be constructed easily, rapidly, economically, and in harmony with the environment worldwide.

When designing a house, architects need to keep two basic issues in mind: people and the environment.

The latter is a real challenge, as hurricanes and earthquakes, for example, are very much part of life in many tropical areas. As the WOODWORLD Construction Concept exceeds the local standards for earthquake-resistant buildings even in Tokyo, offering a far better level of hurricane tolerance than traditionally constructed wooden houses, WOODWORLD’s solutions are suitable for use virtually anywhere subject to these types of conditions.

People are no less of a challenge either, which is why the structures in WOODWORLD projects have a calculated lifespan of 150 years.

People should be able to live in the same house all their lives, and a house should offer them several redesign options over the years, without the need to move supporting structures or fully plumbed areas, such as bathrooms. Owners should also be able to easily connect row or semi-detached houses, combine two apartments into one, or separate off part of a structure into an independent dwelling. Vertical and horizontal flexibility is essential here.

WOODWORLD’s housing projects are designed to create a diverse townscape. Each house has a family resemblance, yet can be tailored to reflect residents’ specific needs. Easy access, especially for temporarily or permanently handicapped people, is factored into designs where appropriate.

Balconies and terraces should form a natural link to a building’s surroundings. In the tropics, terraces are a key part of a design, and can form semi-private passages between buildings. In temperate climates, gardens should offer stimulating, colourful vistas throughout the year.

WOODWORLD has a very broad design philosophy, ideal for meeting the needs of people into the future, as they live longer and expect more from their homes and other buildings around the world.

A sustainable philosophy

WOODWORLD has always been driven by a clear vision of designing houses for people who value functionality and living close to nature in buildings that have a minimum impact on the environment. WOODWORLD houses are designed, as a result, to fit into the surrounding environment as a part of the landscape, and make the landscape part of living.

Reflecting the fact that the most significant environmental impact involved with a building takes place during construction, the WOODWORLD system requires a minimum of site clearance, excavation, and on-site carpentry.

Building components are produced from raw materials from the renewable forests of the Northern conifer zone and other comparable areas. All the materials used in WOODWORLD houses are guaranteed to be safe, and do not generate harmful emissions. And the company’s Healthy House Concept – with its breathing, energy-saving insulation and wall structures – makes for excellent comfort, whatever the climate.

Just in time

Shipping projects around the world requires advanced logistics, and WOODWORLD’s system can deliver all the components required for a building site just in time.

WOODWORLD’s prefabricated elements and components have been designed with a minimum set of standard tools in mind, to make erection and assembly easy and fast in any part of the world. Shipments are also designed to allow manual unloading at destinations where the use of machinery is restricted or impossible.

Designed for local conditions

WOODWORLD’s use of natural construction methods protects wooden structures against adverse conditions, and protects the environment from building-related impact and subsequent emissions.

Delivering wooden structures to different climatic and biological environments, such as tropical, sub-tropical, temperate, and arctic sites, calls for extensive know-how about local weather and local flora and fauna, particularly insect pests and fungi. WOODWORLD draws on the latest technology and 35 years of experience of working in tropical environments, and 50 years experience in arctic and temperate environments, to make this happen.

WOODWORLD structures are designed to tolerate a wide variety of conditions, including high wind loads, snow, and seismic hazards. Buildings can be easily erected on sloping sites in hilly and mountainous areas, on uneven surfaces, or even over water, as the WOODWORLD concept requires only simple concrete pillars with footings or a concrete slab.

Erection work can be carried out by local workers under the supervision of WOODWORLD experts – and the company’s prefabricated components are easy to handle and install, and usually do not require cranes or other heavy equipment.

Meeting emergency needs

WOODWORLD can also meet emergency needs, as it can now ship large numbers of first aid housing units worldwide.

Providing people caught up in disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, or tsunamis, with a permanent home is the most challenging task after meeting their immediate need for food, water, medicine, and tents.

WOODWORLD’s simple, fast-to-erect emergency housing concept offers an excellent solution for permanent housing. Local people can take part in erection work or even assemble the prefabricated homes themselves under expert supervision.

WOODWORLD donated its first emergency units in 2003, to Haiti. Today, the product range includes a variety of permanent homes, accommodation barracks, and structures suitable for hospital, school, health care, religious, and military use.

> Kalevi Kivimaa
(Published in High Technology Finland )