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Peikko Group Global (English)

Insight on Sustainable Construction

By Peikko’s blog team

May, 7, 2018

In December 2017 Peikko participated as a sponsor in the 5th International Conference for Sustainable Construction Materials held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. Two speakers, both experts in their fields, presented Peikko’s solutions towards sustainable construction. Jan Bujnak (picture on right) is R&D Manager at Peikko Group. Ole Skjelmose (picture on left) works as Project Architect in GXN, a Danish company specialized in Green Innovation. 

Can you tell us about your background and your recent work?

Jan Bujnak: “I have been working for the R&D department of Peikko Group since 2007. I have had the chance to deal with different kinds of topics and challenges like product development, testing, approvals and development of design tools. Our work focuses on introducing new and improved products and solutions that make our customers’ building process more efficient.”

Ole Skjelmose: “My professional focus, as a project architect and DGNB consultant, is to implement sustainable solutions without compromising the quality of architecture, including tactility and spatial qualities.  This focus on the combination of sustainability, function as well as aesthetics has been resounded in several award-winning and innovative projects. One of my most recent projects is Circle House in Aarhus, Denmark, a building fully designed and built for disassembly.”


What main tendencies do you generally see in the future of the construction sector and building industry?

JB: “In 2050, the world population will have doubled compared to now. Consequently, a massive amount of infrastructure will have to be built to provide housing, workspace, entertainment and communication means to the rapidly increasing population. At the same time, the amount of available natural resources and energy will remain constant. Therefore, the construction industry will have to respond to an enormous pressure to improve efficiency. And not only efficiency and the speed of the construction process but of the whole lifecycle management of buildings, starting from planning and ending with the demolition or re-use of structures.”

OS: “Sustainability and circular economy are becoming strong tendencies, especially in the Nordic countries. Nevertheless, the difficulty will be in implementing these ideologies on the existing construction methods. Precast will definitely be the main construction method in the future, worldwide. I believe that the main concern of the building industry will be the most efficient use of existing construction materials – most likely we will find new ways of using the materials, and making them more resistant and environment friendly.”   


What does sustainable construction mean to you?

JB: “Each structure is built with a certain purpose and with a certain intended service life. Sustainability is a complex topic, but it could be understood to mean that the structure is planned, built and maintained to fulfil its purpose throughout its intended service life, and possibly beyond.”

OS: “Sustainable construction means an ability to maintain a building for a longer period of time, together with reusing or upcycling the construction materials – not downcycling them. The materials used should be as environment friendly as possible and not include, for instance, hazardous chemicals. Sustainability is both the speed and the efficiency of the construction, as well as the long lifecycle of a building. “ 


Why is sustainability important in the construction sector?

JB: “To be sustainable, the construction needs to fulfil not only requirements of the present, but also the requirements that will come. Many of Peikko’s products are developed and validated by extensive research and testing, that among others allows the validation of design concepts and applications that go well beyond the current design standards. Thanks to this advance, Peikko’s products most likely already fulfil the demands or standards that will come and that might be more and more demanding.”

OS: “Currently as much as 40% of energy consumption comes from the construction sector – whatever we do there, has a strong impact on our future. Even though wood is considered an ecological construction material and, is as fast to build with as concrete, concrete allows us to design higher buildings. When used in a correct way, concrete can even compete with wood in terms of sustainability.”  


Which Peikko’s solutions, in your opinion, can work toward more sustainable construction and how?

JB: “The strength of Peikko is that we have both strong technical fundamentals and a strong global presence on the construction market. This gives us the opportunity to quickly understand the special needs of the different local markets and develop technical solutions that answer those needs. To give an example, the first product developed by Peikko some 50 years ago is the PD Tie. It was developed in Northern Europe to be used in insulated precast concrete panels that provide thermal insulation to buildings during long and cold winters. Similar panels can be used to insulate buildings also in countries with dramatically different climate conditions, like in the Middle East. They fulfil the same function of insulating the building and providing comfort to the people inside, whether it is about resisting extreme cold or extreme heat.

On the other hand, Peikko is the market leader of Wind Turbine Foundations in the Nordic countries. By providing a reliable and cost-efficient solution, Peikko can contribute to sustainable energy construction.

One of Peikko’s best known products, DELTABEAM®, creates flexible and open spaces that enable the changing of layout and even the purpose of a building during its lifespan. This can, actually, even extend the building’s lifespan.”

OS: “SUMO® Wall Shoes can be used directly with disassembly in mind. However, most if not all Peikko’s solutions work toward sustainability, as sustainability is not only about disassembly but also the efficiency and speed of construction. Peikko’s products reduce the working time on the construction site, and local warehousing enables faster deliveries and reduces emissions caused by transportation. The best result comes, however, when all the suppliers and stakeholders work towards sustainability together.”