Can you tell briefly about your background and role at Peikko?
I have studied structural engineering in Bratislava University, Slovakia, and graduated in 2007. That is when I first joined Peikko in Slovakia. I have also worked with Peikko in Austria. Currently I am responsible for calculations for different Peikko products in a wide variety of projects.
You participated in the very first projects using DELTABEAM® together with CLT slabs in Austria. Can you tell something about that time?
The projects arose from the customer’s curiosity to try something different and to find solutions for their challenges. Timber construction is very common in Austria, but has some architectural limitations and, even more importantly, does not allow for slim floors. DELTABEAM® was a great solution for the customer needs, though the construction method was not yet standardized. Long discussions with the structural engineer were needed to find the best suited solution and to learn the best practices. Though the first projects had some learn-by-doing aspects, it resulted to be a starting point for a whole new way of building with timber.
How has the market changed ever since?
Nowadays environmental motives play a big role, and it is heavily opening the market for hybrid construction. As the construction methods are well-known and becoming more standardized, the projects take off easier.
How do you see that Peikko as an industry forerunner, and especially DELTABEAM®, has affected this change?
I can see that the projects are increasing and growing in size, and that Peikko can really bring additional value to hybrid construction projects. The way Peikko works is to find a good solution for the customer, even if it does not exist yet. This has been a starting point for many new innovations which, little by little, drive the market development. Peikko’s testing process for new products is very thorough, and it is a firm ground to stand on, and a guarantee that the solutions really work.
When Peikko’s R&D develops new solutions and products, what is the starting point? How does Peikko anticipate the future needs?
Personally, I have not been involved in developing new products, but I have studied the feasibility of several potential innovations. Some ideas come from the customers; some are invented internally. Peikko’s R&D department is very strong and active, and lots of resources are invested for the development work. To maintain the forerunner position, Peikko follows the market closely, and has the innovative spirit to test and experiment new solutions. Also, developing further the already existing products is an important part of the R&D work.
How do you see the future of hybrid construction?
The future seems bright indeed. While the need of longer spans increases, the quality of the materials also improves. Yet, there is room for improvement for horizontal and vertical connections between the elements – they affect the load transfer and thus the height and volume of the construction. I also think that the material availability will affect the future construction methods – the cost of steel and timber are currently high. From the environmental perspective there is demand for greener ways to design and build.