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Wooden schools provide better performance and reduced emissions

Published: 9 November 2022, 12:56 Updated: 10 November 2022, 14:45In Sweden and the rest of Europe there is a great need to build more schools. Many of the schools that were built in the 1970s or earlier need to be renovated and temporary teaching premises must be replaced with new functional school buildings. At the same time, the construction industry is in great need of sustainable and innovative solutions. There is now a construction technique in wood that both lowers carbon dioxide emissions and provides students with a healthy environment that favors learning.Read more about Sylva by Stora Enso A few days ago, Sylva by Stora Enso was launched, a kit of prefabricated, customized wooden building elements. They are made ready for installation in the factory – completely according to the customers’ design and wishes – and then delivered to the construction site in the right order and at the right time for installation. It can be used both for multi-storey buildings, industrial and office buildings. And they are perfectly suited for building schools in particular. – Sylva creates the conditions for it to be easier for everyone involved; project developers, prescribing authorities and contractors should all be able to choose the wooden building elements that best suit their project. We also ensure that they receive support throughout the project, says Jacob Eriksson, product manager at Stora Enso.Jacob Eriksson, product manager at Stora Enso.Jacob Eriksson, product manager at Stora Enso.

Research for a more sustainable construction industry

Stora Enso is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of wood products and conducts active research and development to increase the use of wood as a building material. Globally, the construction industry accounts for 39 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions and they need to be reduced quickly. New construction technology in wood has the potential to change the entire traditional way of thinking and can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 70 percent. – By delivering prefabricated and ready-to-install building elements such as walls, joists and roofs to construction sites, we reduce transport by 70 percent compared to concrete, and construction time is cut by at least 30 percent. We offer a way to increase productivity and at the same time build long-term and sustainably, says Jessica Szyber, business development manager at Stora Enso.

A pleasant indoor climate

One of the advantages of building in wood is that the material dampens fluctuations in humidity and buffers moisture. – In our part of the world, we spend almost 90 percent of our days indoors. Then it is important that the indoor climate is good for us. A wooden building breathes and makes the indoor climate more pleasant to live in. If it is cold outside and we heat the building, wood releases moisture and the air does not become as dry. In the same way, the construction buffers when it’s warmer outside, says Jessica Szyber.Jessica Szyber, business development manager at Stora Enso.Jessica Szyber, business development manager at Stora Enso.

Less stress for students

An Austrian study found that students taught in wooden buildings had significantly lower stress levels, blood pressure and heart rate compared to those taught in a school environment with no visible wood. The students also became more creative and productive in the environment with a lot of wood. – Biophilia means love of nature and biophilic design is a trend that has grown rapidly in recent years. It is about how nature is integrated into the environments we live in, such as wood materials and greenery, light, sound and other things. We have a deep connection to nature, so when you are exposed to, for example, wood, you feel a calmness that contributes to less stress, more creativity, fewer conflicts and a lower heart rate, says Jacob Eriksson.

Wood keeps us healthier

It has also been shown that environments with exposed wood are good for health. In schools built of wood, students and teachers stay healthier. Differences have also been noticed in healthcare. – A study from Linköping University on the impact of wood on physical and psychological well-being showed that patients’ recovery in a hospital environment is faster with wooden interiors, says Jessica Szyber.

Increased concentration and better performance

Another study (A Terrapin Bright Green pilot study) compared learning outcomes after implementing design elements in wood. When comparing performance to the school year prior to the installation of the biophilic improvements, the average test score increase was 3.3 times higher in the biophilic classroom. Read more about Sylva by Stora EnsoThe article is produced by Brand Studio in collaboration with Stora Enso and not an article by Dagens industri

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