Percentage of timber remains still high in Estonian housing construction
02. July

 2,619 building permits were issued in 2014 which is nearly twice less than a year before. The decrease of the issued permits has happened in comparison of all types of building; however, the smallest drop has occurred as regards the sector of buildings on timber structure.

Last year the total of 1,451 building permits were issued for construction of residential buildings of which 748 permits were issued for construction of wooden houses and 703 permits for other load-bearing structures. The total of 140,000 square meters of living space is accomplished in wooden houses and this forms 23.8% or nearly one third of housing construction volumes in whole Estonia. Inasmuch as the general Estonian building sector is clearly declining, the weight of timber in comparison of all types of building has increased percentagewise.

Home market is also currently active

Elari Kivisoo, member of the management board of Estonian Woodhouse Association, executive manager of Ritsu AS confirms that the home market is very important also for them as manufacturers.  “Last year the Estonian market gave almost one third of our turnover. This is very positive indicator for us.” Also the statistics show that when in 2013 the percentage of wooden houses in Estonian housing construction was 24 per cent with reference to square meters, then now it is increasing. “Nearly one third of the living space is already in wooden houses,” adds Kivisoo according to who the home market has been active for them also in the first half of 2015. AS Ritsu will probably produce more houses this year than they did last year.

Developer and private customer are well informed

Lauri Kivil, the manager of the Estonian Wooden Houses Cluster points out as important also the stability in the construction of wooden houses with two or more apartments. “For us this is a good signal that the indicators have not decreased in that segment. There are not many houses and the volumes are small but considering the net area, the volumes have increased from 11,000 square meters to 16,000.” According to Kivil, this shows that the local developer and the wooden house manufacturer continuously cooperate well.

The statistics reveal also that timber is continually most often used for construction of residential buildings for one household. Last year altogether 705 building permits were issued for wooden detached houses with closed net area of 124,000 square meters. Thus wooden private houses form more than half or more specifically 53.8 per cent of the private house building volumes. Average size of a wooden private house is 171 square meters.