Winner of the “Pre-Fab House of the Year 2018” award is Kodumaja’s timber frame module apartment buildings complex in Norway
06. April

Pre-fab House of the Year contest organized by the Estonian Wooden Houses Cluster and Estonian Woodhouse Association took place for the 8th time. Winner of this year’s contest from among many entries is Kodumaja (KM Element OÜ) with their complex of apartment buildings in Norway.

Pre-Fab House of the Year contest is an annual event, the main aim of which is to recognize the best wooden pre-fab houses and promote wooden construction as a whole. There were 39 participants at this year’s contest, wooden houses produced by Estonian companies that have been built in Norway, Sweden, Faroe Islands, Japan and Estonia.

The winning work, Kodumaja’s (KM Element OÜ) apartment buildings complex consists of three 5-storey buildings, 97 apartments, closed gross area 8606 m2. Houses have been built from pre-fabricated timber-frame modules. Solutions used in the planning of apartments create aesthetic, spacious, filled with light and simple, functional Scandinavian environment. Each apartment has a balcony or terrace that extends the living room.

Each apartment has a balcony or terrace that extends the living room. Photo: Jesper Snekkestad


According to the jury of the contest, the winning work was a real premium class product characterized by well-considered space, high-level engineering and architectural consistency. Three different constructive solutions have been used in case of balconies and loadbearing structures combine different materials very well. The complex creates a  unified and disjunct environment where the spatial resource has been thoroughly considered and fully used (playgrounds and green space).
Winner of the “Pre-Fab House of the Year 2018” award is Kodumaja’s timber frame module apartment buildings complex in Norway. Photo: Jesper Snekkestad

Kodumaja’s Product Development Manager Elar Vilt said at the award ceremony that positive acknowledgement is always a great honour and joy if people and companies from your own sector appreciate each other’s achievements. “Kodumaja’s and definitely also other producers’ goal is to make quality products and offer customers the best result. If a customer and partners are satisfied then the work has been fruitful and spot on,” said Vilt. Although Kodumaja’s winning work has been built in Norway, it is still important that it is an Estonian house, adds Vilt. “As an exporting house producer, we represent abroad Estonian construction sector and the entire country with our projects. Hopefully, successful projects bring more satisfied customers and help to grow export even more,” he added.

Kodumaja Product Development Director Elar Vilt receiving the overall award. Photo: Jelena Rudi
The awards of the Pre-Fab House of the Year 2018 were handed out by Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications Deputy Secretary-General for Construction Jüri Rass, who highlighted Estonian wooden houses producers as a great example of construction sector’s efficient productivity and aspiration. “Wider world moves towards digitalization and automation of factories. Here factory-made wooden houses are the best example – more and more of a building’s construction process is made in a controlled environment. This ensures better building quality and lowers costs to erect buildings.” Rass praised wooden houses producers also for continuously successful and pioneering role as exporters.

The jury of the contest consisted of the following members: Professor Dr Targo Kalamees, Tallinn University of Technology, Building Engineering Physics; Professor, Dr Jarek Kurnitski, Tallinn University of Technology, Institute of Building Engineering, Director; architects Markus Kaasik and Veronika Valk-Siska and journalist Eva Kiisler.

Best Pre-Fab houses were chosen in 6 main categories:

  • Overall winner - Kodumaja (KM Element OÜ) apartment buildings complex in Tønsberg, Norway
  • Best timber-frame house – Kodumaja (KM Element OÜ) apartment buildings complex in Tønsberg, Norway
  • Best handcrafted log house – Hobbiton Home OÜ private home in Haapsalu
  • Best machined log house – Finnlog OÜ summer house in Läänemaa
  • Best small construction – Huuden OÜ garden house in Tartumaa
  • Best special solution – Timbeco Woodhouse OÜ facade elements for a shopping centre in Norway

Additionally, several special prizes were awarded by both the jury and partners:

  • Best private house – Happy Home (HH Prefab OÜ) CLT house in Viimsi municipality
  • Best public building – EstNor OÜ warehouse and office building in Sweden
  • ISOVER special award for the most energy-efficient building – Matek AS University of Technology student home’s renovation project
  • Raitwood timber use special award – Nordic Houses KT OÜ ski resort guest house in Norway 
  • AkzoNobel special award for the best colour solution – Hobbiton Home OÜ
  • ESSVE special award – EstNor OÜ warehouse and office building in Sweden
  • Tervemaja OÜ special award for the most airtight building– Sense OÜ private home in Lääne-Virumaa
  • VELUX special award for the best lighting solution – Hobbiton Home OÜ
  • Monier special award „Best tile-roof on a pre-fab house“ – Hobbiton Home OÜ
  • Delfi moodnekodu.ee readers favourite – Q-haus Baltic OÜ Upside Down House in Tartumaa

The award ceremony took place on April 4 as a part of EstBuild construction fair’s opening ceremony and awards were handed out by Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications Deputy Secretary-General for Construction Jüri Rass.

Partners of the contest: Akzo Nobel Baltics AS, B&B TOOLS ESTONIA AS/ESSVE, Viking Window AS, Raitwood, Tervemaja OÜ, SIGA Cover AG, ISOVER Saint-Gobain, Monier OÜ, Optimera Estonia AS/Ehituse ABC, Ruukki, Tyvek, Velux.


The contest is supported by European Regional Development Fund within the cluster development program.

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