Story | 03/17/2021 09:41:07 | 3 min Read time

New innovations in responsible wood construction

Specially treated plywood products developed by UPM Plywood increase the diversity of wood as a construction material. The latest addition to the product family is water-repellent plywood, which makes builder’s work easier and quicker.

“As a renewable and carbon-storing raw material, wood is a responsible choice. It is also a safe and functional material from the perspective of those using the building. Now that wood construction is becoming more and more popular, we want to promote the better usability of wood. Our speciality products – which have been especially developed for wood construction – meet this demand,” says Olli Wirén, End Use Manager at UPM Plywood.

According to Wirén, the starting point for the innovative speciality products is always to bring benefits to the end user – for example by making construction work more efficient or by replacing unwanted materials, such as harmful chemicals.

The WISA-Spruce wood construction product family includes fire-retardant plywood and a biocide treated product resistant to wood decaying fungi, as well as water-repellent plywood, which was released last summer. Another speciality product is a WISA-Roof plywood, which is used in roof structures, for example, to withstand snow loads.

Keeping the main focus on construction at worksites

Due to the water-repellent WISA-SpruceWR plywood, construction work is easy even in changing weather and humidity conditions. No extra time is spent on covering materials at the worksite. The plywood is treated with a protective wood-based surface treatment, which slows down the penetration of moisture into the structure and lets the panel breathe and dry freely.

“The product is made of sustainably grown and sourced wood, and the wood-based surface treatment material does not contain any harmful chemicals. The water-repellent surface also helps to prevent moisture-related structural or health problems, because less moisture ends up in the structure,” says Wirén.

According to Wirén, each speciality product supports a certain area in the wood construction process: the design stage and material selection, operations at the worksite and the securing of a long-lasting building and safe living conditions. For example, fire-retardant plywood helps to make savings in material costs, as one product can be used to replace multi-layered solutions.

Open information about environmental impacts

Responsibility is an integral part of UPM Plywood products and services, which give us an opportunity to also help our customers to act responsibly. All responsibly manufactured, durable and safe WISA plywood products are supported by Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) documents.

“These documents provide contractors, subcontractors and specifiers a better way to compare the environmental impacts of the product throughout its whole life cycle – from sourcing the raw materials to the disposal of the product. Our EPD documents have been compiled separately for coated and uncoated spruce plywood and coated and uncoated birch plywood,” says Wirén.

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