Brilliantly renewable!

Editorials by Mikael Eliasson

GILLBERGA The sun was beating down one morning in July as I worked through an area I had planted the year before. My task was to remove the weeds from around the seedlings I’d put in. Some of the seedlings were already almost half a metre tall and within a few years they would become part of a fine young forest.

Wiping the sweat from my brow, I cast my eyes over the area, taking in the “eternity trees” and “high stumps” left in place to benefit the diverse range of fungi, plants, insects and animals that we have in the forest. As I continued my weeding, I thought about the trees that had been harvested just over a year earlier. The wood from these was now probably sitting in various new buildings, some perhaps as far away as Japan. It might well be that a carpenter in Algeria was making a window out of “my trees” right now and perhaps a DIY enthusiast in Sweden was using the wood for a new outhouse. And in little more than 50 years, there would be new wood in the forest to build with.

So much is happening in the field of wood construction right now, and in this issue of Trä! we take a look at building in solid wood. We gain an insight into Austrian wood construction when we visit architect Hermann Kaufmann’s practice to see how they create and construct attractive and functional buildings. We find out what they demand of architecture and the production flow, all the way from the sawmills – and how these ideas could be applied in Sweden.

There is plenty of evidence that wood has a positive effect on us. And there is growing interest in using wood in various types of healthcare buildings. In the article on “healing architecture”, we share in the experience of building health centres in the UK and Denmark.

Sound is one of the most important factors for comfort in buildings, and in this issue we’ve kept our ear to the ground in seeking out new knowledge and updated building regulations.

We also get to learn two exciting people’s thoughts on wood. One is Magdalena Andersson, County Governor in Västerbotten, Sweden and chair of Trästad, and Annika Nordin, Professor of Forest Echophysiology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), who talks about what architects and designers could gain from working more closely with the forest industry.


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