Stora Enso launches building solution for low carbon construction

Sylva™ Wooden school in a boxFotografering för Byggpartner Falun, Borlänge

Today, Stora Enso – a leading provider of renewable products in packaging, biomaterials, wooden construction and paper, and one of the largest private forest owners in the world – launches their new initiative aimed at providing a sustainable solution to classroom overcrowding in the UK.

Classroom overcrowding is a UK-wide issue, from Scotland to the West Midlands. This is only set to become more pressing: in the UK alone, more than 12 000 new classrooms need to be built in the next two years to accommodate for the soaring number of primary and secondary pupils that are expected. At present, many schools are in poor condition, with buildings considered unsuitable or too small.

Right now there are very few offerings to solve this issue of classroom overcrowding. As such, Sylva offers solutions to both limited educational spaces and sustainable construction. Wood is one of the key renewable building materials, and the trees from Stora Enso’s sustainably managed forests continue to grow back. Trees absorb carbon and store it during the lifetime of a building, improving the carbon footprint of the whole value chain. One example is the wooden North Stowe school in Cambridge that stores 2 000 tons of CO₂. At the end of the school’s life cycle, the wood can be easily dismantled, reused, recycled, or used for energy production.

Sylva™ by Stora Enso, is a “easy to build-kit”, delivering prefabricated, easy-to-install components to construction sites. Aside from the unique approach to construction, it also boasts the environmental benefit of being made from wood reducing the vast amount of CO₂ emissions from concrete and steel which are traditionally used in construction. The solution enables faster construction, reduced costs, more efficient use of raw material and fewer emissions than concrete or steel. This means that Sylva has the potential to solve the UK’s demand for educational spaces, whilst cutting emissions.

Building Solution For Low Carbon Construction

“One of the major reasons why the construction industry’s carbon emissions have reached its highest level is its constant over-reliance on carbon-intensive materials such as steel and concrete. Recent engineering innovations based on massive wood will wean the dependence on these materials. Today we can build higher, stronger and lighter than ever with wood, and now we make it even easier thanks to Sylva”, says Lars Völkel, EVP and Head of the Wood Products division at Stora Enso. 

Sylva is Stora Enso’s range of engineered and prefabricated products such as cross-laminated timber (CLT), laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and glued laminated timber (GLT). The Sylva kit includes everything needed to create a modern, sustainable wood structure for low-carbon buildings. The custom-made walls, floors, roofs, stairs, beams and columns optimise the use of massive wood to suit buildings of all typologies and scales for specific project needs.

Stora Enso’s automated coating line, being built in Ybbs, Austria, will further enhance the value and quality of the Sylva components by offering high-quality water-based coatings, protecting them against moisture, sunlight, insects and fire. This will result in shorter construction times, decrease costs for construction companies, and provide added value and improved product quality.

“By delivering prefabricated, easy-to-install components to the construction sites, we respond to the increasing trend of off-site construction while offering a solution to the industry’s labour shortage. Sylva by Stora Enso is a game-changer for making this happen, replacing concrete and steel with renewable wood to enable a circular, low-carbon construction process”, says Mathieu Robert, Head of Building Solutions at Stora Enso.

Wood products can help transform the construction sector from a source of greenhouse gas emissions to a carbon sink. Every cubic meter of wood used as a substitute for non-renewable building materials reduces CO₂ emissions by an average of 1.5 tonnes. This carbon stays stored in wooden buildings for generations. Wood as a building material can instantly cut up to 70% of emissions and this way ensure that the construction industry is part of the solution to end global warming.


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Schools made of Sylva tick all boxes when it comes to faster construction time, improved well-being among the students, low-carbon circular materials and building solutions. They also fix many labour shortage issues, and reduce worksite injuries. Wood buildings are cost competitive with steel and concrete schools yet save hundreds in operational costs and embodied emissions up to 70% less CO₂ emissions than concrete buildings.

Key facts:

  • Sylva schools have small footprints—using wood as a building material, we can cut up to 70% of emissions.
  • Sylva enables at least 30% faster construction and more efficient use of raw materials.   
  • Sylva kits meet all fire regulations and building code provisions. 

For further information, please contact:
Cathrine Wallenius
SVP, Communications and Marketing Wood Products, Stora Enso
tel. +46 70 209 2429

Part of the global bioeconomy, Stora Enso is a leading provider of renewable products in packaging, biomaterials, wooden construction and paper, and one of the largest private forest owners in the world. We believe that everything that is made from fossil-based materials today can be made from a tree tomorrow. Stora Enso has approximately 22,000 employees and our sales in 2021 were EUR 10.2 billion. Stora Enso shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Oy (STEAV, STERV) and Nasdaq Stockholm AB (STE A, STE R). In addition, the shares are traded in the USA as ADRs (SEOAY).

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