Metsä Wood launches hybrid sandwich wall element

11 June 2021

Metsä Wood and its partners have designed a hybrid sandwich wall element which it says will renew offsite construction, offering “a sustainable way of building”.

The innovation combines concrete with Kerto LVL (laminated veneer lumber). The first construction project to use the elements is Metsä Fibre’s Rauma sawmill.

Combining concrete and Kerto LVL, the hybrid sandwich wall elements offer an easy way to replace typical concrete sandwich elements, the popular wall element in residential multi-storey buildings in Nordic countries.

“The hybrid sandwich wall element helps to increase the share of wood to build more sustainable buildings efficiently,” said Jussi Björman, director, business construction at Metsä Wood. “This joint development is our effort to support the construction industry,”

Metsä Wood partnered with Finnish construction and structural design companies to design the optimal hybrid sandwich wall element.

Precast element manufacturer Lipa-Betoni saw the potential of the hybrid elements.

“The hybrid sandwich wall element is a great opportunity,” said Satu Lipsanen, CEO of Lipa-Betoni. “We look for a new market with a product, which can be used in the same way than concrete sandwich elements.”

“As Kerto LVL is a light material, the hybrid sandwich wall elements will be faster to produce at the factory and transport to the site, and even the transport emissions will decrease due to the light load. The light elements are also easier to lift,” said Mr Björman.

He also said that new easy-to-produce construction solutions are needed to turn the industry in a more sustainable direction.

“Around 1 million m2 of concrete wall elements are produced annually in Finland. Their load-bearing core creates 45,000 tons of CO2 emissions. If all concrete walls were replaced with hybrid sandwich wall elements, CO2 emissions would decrease by 30,000 tons a year and 95,000 tons of carbon would be stored,” said Mr Björman.

Metsä Fibre’s new Rauma sawmill is the first construction project where the hybrid sandwich wall elements will be used. Skanska is the main constructor of the mill project.  The elements will be produced at Lipa-Betoni’s factory in Pieksämäki, Finland, and installed this month.

The new hybrid sandwich wall