Aid Scheme for Growth and Development from Wood

Millenium Pavilion
Entrance of Millennium Pavilion (Wood Program 2013-2016) © Kimmo Räisänen

The Wood Building Action Plan run by the Ministry of the Environment is launching an aid scheme to promote the use of timber in construction by granting support for various projects. In the aid scheme, funding will be allocated to selected themes within the industry with the aim of activating interest groups and encouraging new players. By supporting the projects, the aim is to broadly influence the industry to accelerate its growth. The funding to be granted will amount to a maximum of €2.5 million.

First application round: Promoting the digitalisation of timber construction

In the first application round, the Ministry of the Environment will grant support for solutions which promote the digitalisation of timber construction. The application period is from 1 August 2018 to 30 September 2018.

Digitalisation offers a lot of opportunities for the development of the value chain of wood, all the way from the forest to refined products. With the help of digitalisation, it is possible to promote the construction of increasingly more compact urban areas, to develop solutions for healthy and safe public construction and industrial timber construction and to accelerate the formation of regional centres of expertise.

Who is eligible for support?

All private and public organisations and enterprises that are legal persons are eligible for support. The applicant cannot be a private person. Partnerships are also eligible to apply. Should a partnership apply for support, the project must have one principal applicant with whom the Ministry of the Environment will conclude an agreement or make a decision regarding support. The principal applicant will be responsible for the project on behalf of all parties of the partnership and for ensuring that the partnership has mutually agreed on the implementation of the project in an adequate manner.

Themes which the projects applying for support must provide solutions for

Building information modelling (BIM) based planning as a means of promoting timber construction.

In industrial timber construction, there is a need for general BIM requirements, common methods and open standards. Generic building libraries and shared nomenclatures for information modelling make it easier to make timber construction procurements and to compare alternatives at the early stages of the planning process.

BIM-based planning calls for both a standard planning process and specification of the interfaces between the design of components and the planning of production by manufacturers. In addition, there is the need in timber construction for design components which make modelling with BIM software faster. It is possible to exploit the information content of the information models in the manufacturing of the components used in production automation control, which also contributes to boosting production.

By streamlining the planning processes and manufacturing interfaces, it is possible to improve the value chain of timber construction significantly and to alter the ways in which the building industry operates. The industrial prefabrication of timber construction enables many innovative applications. The structural systems of timber construction are also undergoing change, and the development of information modelling will take place in conjunction with R&D and pilot projects. The industry should identify useful planning tools together with software companies.

Sustainable quality and information interfaces

With the help of construction quality assurance, we can find rational ways to construct efficiently in terms of both materials and energy. At the same time, buildings become increasingly healthier and safer for their users. Quality control of the indoor environment, building physical assessments, management of moisture and hazardous substances, and property management are under development through new applications, smart interfaces and monitoring tools.

The tradition and competence base of timber construction provide valuable information for the development of modern construction. By using digital tools, it is possible to learn from the cultural heritage of timber construction and to diversify the way timber is used in construction.

The cost calculation of the service life of buildings will allow us to improve the competitiveness of industrial timber construction and to generate sustained value. Data collection must be developed further in order for the solutions to become part of the practices and R&D in the building industry.

Promotion of low-carbon construction by means of digitalisation and data mining

In the evaluation of the environmental impact of construction, better calculation methods and databases, easy-to-use assessment tools and practical pilot projects are needed in which the use of timber in construction and its environmental impact are investigated to the end of the life cycle of buildings.

In the assessment of the built environment, digitalisation and the utilisation of data will provide new means and platforms to find solutions for topical issues, such as climate change and the sustainable use of natural resources. Data collection will allow us to calculate, for example, the amount of carbon stored in timber products, verify the results of service life calculations for buildings and obtain Environmental Product Declarations for timber products.

The promotion and development of the use of material-efficient, renewable and recyclable timber products are based on the follow-up of material flows and quality assurance. To achieve this, new digital platforms and experiments are needed by means of which research data can be transferred into new practices in the building industry, at the same time allowing us to improve its environmental efficiency and the value chains of timber construction and ecosystems.

Assessment of the applications

The applications are assessed by rating them according to the criteria presented below on a scale of 1 to 5. The panel of experts consisting of representatives of the Ministry of the Environment and, when necessary, other ministries will rate the applications and rank them.

Assessment criteria

  • Ability to promote timber construction: The project promotes the use of timber in construction by means of digitalisation and adapts the digitalisation solutions used in construction for use in timber construction. In the project, there is clear justification for the goal of the application from a timber construction perspective.
  • The project is innovative, new and experimental: The project aims at the future and has novelty value. If the project is not new as such, it may support the refining and piloting of or testing existing best practices. The project or the solution presented in it is something new and special or implemented in a new way, or it comes with some new and special elements. (The criterion is not applied to training aid applications compliant with Article 31.)
  • Impact: The project is related to an important challenge in terms of realising digitalisation of the built environment and construction or makes possible other solutions that are significant in terms of their impact. The project will accelerate the change of practices in the building industry and alter the industry’s current operating model in which the highest possible added value from the use of timber is not obtained. The project aims at sustainable and high-quality operating models, and it has the potential for a systemic change in society. The project may promote the interoperability and development of various standards.
  • Feasibility: The realisers have adequate competence and networks for the development, introduction and institutionalisation of a financially feasible solution. The project can be realised according to the presented plan, schedule and the resources available. The key content of the project is not the sale of a product or service. Additionally, the project budget is realistic.
  • Reusability: The lessons learned from the project can be exploited in other industries and on a larger scale.
  • Continuity: The application shows high commitment, resources and plans concerning continuation of the operation after the completion of the project.
  • Communication: The realisers of the project commit to plan and carry out communication of the project. The purpose of communication is to share the lessons learned from the project and enable their reusability as well as to increase consumer awareness of additional high-value products manufactured from timber.

Application process

All of the subsidies to be granted are government grants. The grant application must be directed to one of the support categories of the Block Exemption Regulation mentioned below. Only one application from each project will be accepted, and the application can be directed to only one of the support categories. The terms and grant percentages concerning the support categories can be found in the support programme instructions for the applicants and grant recipients (paragraph 4).

a) support to be granted for an R&D project in compliance with Article 25
3) experimental development

b) training aid in compliance with Article 31

c) aid in compliance with Article 53 for the promotion of culture and heritage conservation

Section 5 of the support programme describes, among other matters, the information required in the application concerning the applicant and the project.

Legislation applied to the application procedure

Submitting the application

The first application round is, as an exception, carried out by filling in a PDF form. Later on, the government grant will be applied for using an electronic form. The grant application is to be drafted in accordance with the application notification and the instructions for the support programme. All questions must be answered – incomplete applications and forms submitted after the application period shall not be taken into account. The application must be signed by a person with the official authority to sign. A free-form production plan must be appended to the application.

Grant applications should be sent by e-mail to kirjaamo@ym.fi by 23.55 on 30 September 2018. The message should include the reference “Growth and Development from Wood: grant application autumn 2018”.

The Ministry of the Environment will make the support decisions by 31 October 2018.

Application form and instructions

Further information

Wood Building Action Plan – Aid Scheme for Growth and Development from Wood: puutuki@ym.fi

Published 2018-08-27 at 16:16, updated 2019-08-27 at 15:21