Stora Enso’s new EWP education site is a valuable hub.

From its Helsinki headquarters, Stora Enso has built a remarkable international timber business that not only responsibly exports and imports timber products around the world, but has played an important role in driving timber construction education, particularly with EWP.

With the launch of its new digital centre of excellence (CoE), the Wood House Effect, Stora Enso is seeking to expand that educational role in the construction industry – and include clients and the general public.

Bringing together essays, data sets, references, project examples for multiple different building types and more, the Wood House Effect both seeks to encourage developers and designers to decide on timber construction and to answer the questions that arise out of that decision. Comprehensive answers are given to the common questions, from ‘why wood?’ to ‘how high?’ and ‘but what about the costs?’

At the core of the site – and the reason behind it – is sustainability. Lars Völkel, executive vice president Stora Enso Wood Products, explains: “It’s important everyone understands that in this critical period of history, there is a raw material that can make a genuine difference. Innovative solutions and new technologies allow wood to replace concrete and steel not only in one- or two-storey homes but also in multi-storey residential, public and commercial buildings. Today, we can build higher, stronger and lighter than ever before.

“Compared to the traditional construction processes with concrete and steel, we can reduce up to 75% of CO2 emissions when building with wood. And by leveraging the opportunities of digital planning and construction tools, and increased levels of prefabrication, we can substantially reduce overall construction cycle times and costs whilst achieving higher quality standards, too.”

A suite of free digital tools form part of the CoE, with a BIM toolbox for Stora Enso building components, timber design software for engineers, a mobile app that helps you manage construction projects more efficiently and more. Plus there’s a reference library listing over 200 projects built with Stora Enso products for inspiration.

For the layperson (especially the client and financier), there are explanations of the high-impact benefits of using CLT and LVL, from time and cost savings to increases in staff wellbeing from biophilic design.

In all, the Wood House Effect is a valuable resource for anyone trying to make the argument for wood to a client, whether that argument is centred on aesthetics, economics, sustainability, meeting a tight build program or managing a difficult site.

Photography forms an important part of the CoE. Cathrine Wallenius, SVP marketing & communications, says, “In our industry we often work with architectural drawings, renderings and BIM models, which are used throughout the building process. But we want to accompany our important messages with real life glimpses of the warmth and comfort that comes with wooden buildings.”

For Völkel, it’s a response to an urgent need. “We need to have an industry with net-zero emissions, and we can come a very long way using wood, so it’s important that we get the word out and help others see what can be done,” he says. “We have many stories to tell – it’s definitely time to talk about the Wood House Effect.”

For more and to browse the CoE, visit