The robust wooden Metla House is located on the edge of the university campus in Joensuu. When completed in 2004, it was Finland’s first large three-storey office building to be built from wood and to have a wooden frame.

Metla House’s staff enjoy their lunch under sturdy Gothic piers. Photo: Erkki Oksanen, Natural Resources Institute Finland.

Innovative use of wood

Wood was chosen as the primary material of Metla House to promote sustainability. The choice of wood as the material for the frame and the façades considerably reduced energy consumption and the use of non-renewable raw materials compared to the corresponding reinforced concrete structures. Almost all of Finland’s 24 native species of tree feature in the building. Spruce is dominant, accounting for around 80 per cent of the wooden materials used in the building’s structures. In all, approximately 2,000 cubic metres of wood, the equivalent of a 20-hectare forest, were used in the building project.

The energy performance and ergonomics of Metla House have been monitored regularly since the completion of the building project. Experience shows that wooden buildings make comfortable working environments, with healthy indoor air.

An office building and a tourist attraction

The large wooden building is a popular tourist attraction. In addition to the building’s modern wooden architecture, tourists are also interested in research conducted in Metla House. What does the Natural Resources Institute Finland study? What is forest-based bioeconomy? And how is the Natural Resources Institute Finland’s research profiled in Joensuu?

The story of Metla House has been documented in a book called “Metla House – innovative wood construction”. The book explores innovative wood construction and the use of wood as a construction material. It also contains scientific information concerning wood construction and staff members’ experiences of working in the building.

Metla House is open to the public between 8.00 am and 4.15 pm on weekdays. Visits at other times can be arranged by calling +358 29 532 3098. Address: Yliopistokatu 6 B, Joensuu, Finland.

Picture on top of the page: Jussi Tiainen

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