Institutional and policy frameworks shaping the wooden multi-storey construction markets: a comparative case study on Austria and Finland


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In the urbanizing society faced with the climate change challenge, wood has major potential as a low-carbon and renewable construction material. Yet, Wooden Multi-storey Construction (WMC) remains a niche even in countries with rich forest resources. This paper compares the institutional and policy setting and assesses the WMC growth prospects in Austria and Finland, based on expert interviews, Delphi surveys, and the review of secondary materials. Clear differences were detected in the policy frameworks and institutional settings between the two countries. The Austrian fairly informal and largely private sector driven approaches to promote the growth of the WMC sector seem to have had a rather similar effect on the markets, as the formal policy measures, typically driven by the public sector in Finland. In both countries, the interviewed experts suggested additional, but partly different, policy measures and institutional changes to accelerate WMC market diffusion. In spite of the increase in WMC activity within the past ten years, the WMC market share is likely to remain rather low by 2030 in both countries, as the institutional frameworks are not expected to change abruptly. However, the future market prospects appear to be somewhat more positive in Finland compared with Austria.

Dr Alice Ludvig and Dr Gerhard Weiss from Forest Policy Research Network are part of the author team of this paper.

Full reference:

Heini Vihemäki, Alice Ludvig, Ritva Toivonen, Anne Toppinen & Gerhard Weiss (2019) Institutional and policy frameworks shaping the wooden multi-storey construction markets: a comparative case study on Austria and Finland, Wood Material Science & Engineering, DOI: 10.1080/17480272.2019.1641741