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PEFC-Certified Wood Key Element of New High-Tech Urban Dwellings

Nov 07 2014

paracityA cutting-edge building model made out of PEFC-certified Finnish pine, which could in the future help to solve the problems related to urban decay and provide a quick solution for rebuilding, was unveiled at the recent Habitare Fair in Finland.

A new Finnish innovation designed by architect Marco Casagrande, the Paracity urban building module can create entire new cities, built by the inhabitants themselves. One Paracity module is a cube with six-meter sides, which people can use to construct their homes by stacking them on top of, and combined with, each other, and building flats inside them. The areas in between the cubes can then be used to accommodate urban spaces, roads or other infrastructure.

The Paracity modular structures are made of Finnish cross-laminated pine, the manufacturing of which has just begun at the CrossLam factory in the town of Kuhmo, in eastern Finland. While elsewhere in the world, cross-laminated timber products are made of spruce, the Kuhmo-based factory chose to use PEFC-certified Finnish pine.

“It’s great to see that Finnish cross-laminated timber can be used in this impressive new innovation and that Kuhmo CrossLam can now offer PEFC-certified timber for construction material,” said Juha Uppa, Marketing Manager at PEFC Finland, who, along with BM Trada, awarded Kuhmo CrossLam Ltd. with their PEFC Chain of Custody certificate during the Habitare fair. “By using PEFC-certified Finnish pine, the company can provide assurances to its stakeholders that the materials it uses originate in forests that are sustainably managed.”

In the first stage, Paracity communities will be built on a flood-ridden island in Taipei City in Taiwan, in a tsunami-prone area in Northern Fukushima in Japan, and in Jakarta in Indonesia. What these areas have in common is a high probability of natural disasters, and the need to quickly get housing for the city's residents. The module is made to withstand floods and earthquakes, and it is fireproof.

"The idea of Paracity is the same as a slum, where the residents quickly claim the available space. In the same way as the slums, the aim of Paracity is to act as a 'scavenger' in the city, by, for example, taking water from a contaminated system and purifying it for use," said Finnish architect Marco Casagrande.

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