Advantages of using Finnish pine wood for log houses

In Europe, Finland is a "forest giant", it has over sixteen times more forest per capita than in other European countries on average.   Forest covers 75% of Finland’s land area.  Polar Pine is the most important tree species in Lapland, covering about 70% of the forest land and also grows further to the north than the Norway spruce.  Thanks to good forest management, the increment of Finnish forests has been higher than the harvesting drain.  Each year about 240 million euros are used for the management and basic improvement of forests. 

Finland is proud of their forest, and that is why for the construction of each house, only high-quality Finnish pine is used. It is a known fact that the quality of wood depends on the growth of the tree. Specific environment enables the Finnish pine wood to grow and sustain its strength. Due to the slow growth, the annual rings are narrow and the whorls are located quite close to each other.  Narrow rings and minor ring width variation are important for end uses where dimensional and form stability is important and this is the advantage of pine wood grown in Finland.

Slow growth advances the higher share of heartwood – at a given diameter, the trees are older in the north and thus the proportion of heartwood is higher.  This enables an efficient utilisation of pine’s heartwood which has an enhanced resistance against humidity variations and weather stresses and because of this, the log houses made from this type of wood are less susceptible to deformation, more resistant to changes in temperature, humidity, insect infestation and wood fungus.  High resin content prevents it from rotting, hence providing durability of the houses made from Finnish pine wood.

Compared with pine trees grown in milder climate, the Finnish pine has much better thermal insulation properties.  Polar pine has the following qualities; its wood has compact and smooth structure, a high proportion of the core makes it less susceptible to deformation and cracking due to humidity changes. The best materials for construction of wooden houses are 70 years old pines and that is why Finnish pine wood are excellent for the construction of log houses because of its slow growth.

In Finland, the deforestation and reforestation is controlled for environmental friendly purposes and also to neutralise CO2 in the air.  For a sustainable forest, trees are never removed faster than it is added by new growth so that the CO2 released by cut trees are balanced by the new trees that absorb the CO2 to grow.

Natural harmony, environmentally friendly, good indoor air qualities are some of the advantages of using Finnish pine wood and it is the reason why it is widely used for log houses and cabins.  According to Metla research, Polar pine heartwood provides long durability due to lower moisture uptake and better stability and it is also natural and weather resistance.  In the glued structures, the heartwood is set into outer layers to gain more resistance against varying temperature and humidity conditions.  In addition to that, the narrow growth rings and minor variations as well as smooth density and shrinkage variations improve the form and dimensional stability.  The surfaces of logs are also quite fire-resistant and have compact structural elements therefore increasing the endurance.