Product / system manufacture
Outside the UK
Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber)
Open Source Wood is Metsä Wood's collaboration platform for architects and engineers to share their innovations in modular wood construction and the Kokoon modular building system was a recent winner of its award.
Kokoon has been designed for temporary accommodation in urban contexts. The modules can be easily transported and stacked in various configurations to fit different needs. The prototypes of Kokoon were designed and constructed by the Wood Program Studio at Aalto University’s School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Finland.
Metsä Wood’s Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber) was selected for the wood material to construct the modules because of its material efficiency. The properties of Kerto LVL Q-panels allowed for a relatively compact wall structure, providing more living space within the module.
“I think this is a great idea showing how modular living can help in providing temporary housing for families,” says Frank Werling, Head of Technical, Engineering and Design, Metsä Wood, and a member of the award jury. “This concept is an example of how to achieve flexible and functional temporary accommodation with Kerto. Kokoon modules are also adaptable for larger housing units and on an industrial scale”, Werling continues.
The prefabricated modules are structurally designed to be self-supporting, as well as supporting the weight of up to two modules above. Four glulam columns, one at each corner, transfer the load down through the assembled modules. Additional diagonal bracing was not required due to the strength and stiffness of the Kerto LVL Q-panels.
Efficiency with off-site wood construction
The use of prefabricated wooden elements makes construction more efficient and improves the quality of construction projects, as most of the work is done indoors in a controlled environment. Especially the use of Kerto LVL makes construction faster, lighter and greener. The modules were transported to the construction site, where they were stacked, connected and finalised.
“Prefabrication gives us possibilities to minimize the construction time on site, and to improve the final quality of the product we are providing to our users,” says Philip Tidwell, a teacher in the Wood Program at Aalto University.
Kerto LVL on the move
The modules have proven to be relatively easy to disassemble and transport, having been relocated four times to different sites around the Helsinki area. Though they have been lifted and transported several times, the rigidity of the modules provided by the Kerto LVL Q-panels has allowed them to remain in excellent condition.