Wooden houses industry adds value to the forest
12. June

Nearly half of Estonia’ s territory is covered with forest. I am (Sven Mats) pleased to say that in addition to clean air and untouched nature the Estonian wooden houses industry has provided forest with a really high value, through wood processing and export.

After Estonia re-gaining its independence a majority of chopped forest was sold as bare logs to Scandinavian forest industry gigants but by today we are trendsetters in wood industry in several fields. Practically all that is chopped off from forest is taken out of there and all that is taken out gets additional value through processing. I believe that Estonian wooden houses industry offers a growing log tree – in the forest value chain – perhaps the highest value. If a log tree price in the forest today is 40 euros/cubic metre then taking it out of the forest, drying and sawing it we get a construction price of 250 euros already. Adding engineering work when producing house kits, transport and installation, the price of cubic metre in case of element houses is already 2500 euros.

Therefore by producing wooden houses we give the forest 60 times more value than when simply selling logs. In case of element apartment buildings the value is even higher. Also, the fact that we sell about 90% of the ready product to export markets is also important because that brings money to Estonian economy. To pay salaries and taxes, develop domestic production and product.

Wood industry and especially wooden houses industry is quite specific also in its capital structure – most of the companies are based on Estonian capital and are located geographically across Estonia, which means that there are well-paying jobs also in the countryside.

We don’ t have silver or gold, oil or other natural resources but we have forest. Let’ s keep and manage our most valuable natural resource kindly. Let’ s value it through knowledge and products that help us create higher additional value. And of course we help to find better and smarter use in the world for practically the only ecologically renewable building material – wood.

Author: Sven Mats, Matek AS CEO, Chairman of Estonian Wooden Houses Association from March 2014 – March 2017