Finnish Lapland is covered by vast, green forests. Large part of it is the Lappish pine. Laplanders proudly call forests their ‘green gold’. Forest occupies a special place in Finnish folklore and Finns even like to joke that they come from the forest. Nature and forests are respected and cherished. Such attitude towards the forest is passed on from one generation to another, and modern Finns are still very passionate about the forest and nature activities.
Long Live the pine!
Northern pine, known as Scott’s pine, is an important tree for Finnish forestry industry. In the old days Northern pine was used for constructing wooden houses and making tar. Nowadays pine is used for pulp and sawn timber products, as well as making log houses and furniture. Pine is a versatile ecological material, suitable for a variety of products. Normally pine can live up to 250 years, however, in the Northern regions, where the growth is slow, a pine can live up to 500-600 years. In fact, the oldest species of pine, found in Lapland, was about 800 years old!
Scots pine is a species of pine that is native to Europe and Asia, ranging from western Europe to eastern Siberia, south to the Caucasus Mountains and Anatolia, and north to well inside the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia. In the north of its range, it occurs from sea level to 1,000 m.
One of the strongest reasons to use pine wood is its renewability. while there are other competing non-wooden materials on the market, such as metal, plastics, concrete or glass, they are non-renewable. They are achieved through exploitation and processing of limited resources: oil, minerals, and soil. Availability of wood, in turn, can be increased through cultivation and forest management. The usage of non-renewable materials should be decreased when possible, and the use of renewable materials, such as wood, should instead be promoted. In spite of active use of the pine by the forestry industry, the growing stock of pine has been steadily increasing in Finland since the 1970s. Currently the pine stock is approximately 1000 million cubic meters with annual growth of 47 million cubic meters.
Processing wooden raw-materials requires significantly less energy, compared to other materials. The energy consumption, needed for aluminum production is 100 times greater and steel approximately 30 times greater, compared to pine wood. This contributes to global warming and build up of CO2 levels in the atmosphere. One must not forget that when wood is processed, wood fuel can be also obtained from forest by-products which includes branches and residues from timber harvesting. Burning wood for fuel is largely carbon neutral as CO2 gets absorbed by the young trees in their first years of growth. Most importantly, northern pine has outstanding thermal insulation properties and thus energy consumption of wooden houses is much lower than steel and concrete. And it also feels warm and cosy!
Northern pine is a highly ecological material which brings excellence and image to the project.
Northern pine that grows in Northern Finland has several unique properties. Climatic conditions are very demanding in Lapland. winter lasts for 6 months in this region and due to low temperatures all life processes are slowed down here. Due to such conditions the pine’s growth is also slow. Its annual rings are thin and situated very close to each other, which results in higher density of the mate- rial. The amount of technically and mechanically low quality juvenile wood, which forms during 10 to 25 first years of life, is limited and the share of better quality heartwood is higher. This particular feature gives Northern pine higher resistance against humidity variations and weather stresses. Due to the special structure of the wood, the moisture content and the oxygen level are balanced at the right level in the house. Timber also interacts with the environment in a very special way: it has the ability to purify the air which makes breathing easy and comfortable. It is also an ecologically friendly material and therefore does not cause any allergic reactions.
Aito Log Houses’ Pine Materials
Traditions of log house construction are strong in Finland, so it comes as no surprise that Finns have excelled in it. Aito offers a wide range of pine materials, such as rounded log, chinked square log, laminated square log and laminated round log. The choice of the material generally depends on the personal preferences of the future owner of the house. Aito also offers two exclusive pine materials, the famous golden pine, named after its special warm golden color, and dry ‘dead standing’ pine called ‘Kelo’. golden pine is achieved when only the top level of bark is removed and the timber preserves all of its natural protective properties. ‘Kelo’ is a special material: this tree comes exclusively from Lapland. Due to slow growth, when pine reaches a certain age, its needles and branches fall off and the root system stops receiving the necessary nutrition. If the tree remains vertically standing, it dries out and can be used for building purposes. The main advantage of ‘Kelo’ pine is the fact that its appearance changes very little over time because it has minimal moisture content. ‘Kelo’ also has an appealing silver colour and a unique texture.
Aito’s wooden houses are produced in modern factories in Finland. we have a large collection of beautiful house projects! They are prefabricated and can be transported and easily installed on the spot. One of our greatest strengths is our individual approach and ability to create a house design, suitable for the needs of particular owner, who has chosen to live in an ecological Finnish house.