Elverum municipality focuses on circular economy in its purchases, and the building sector is one of the largest in the municipality's investment program. Wood construction responds to general objectives in terms of sustainability, circularity, and the environment.
Elverum municipality has worked actively to increase the use of wood in construction projects since 2006 where the policy has been described in a Guide. Over the past year, the guide has become a Strategy for how the municipality should work actively to increase the use of wood in buildings.
The municipal council adopted the new Wood Strategy on 26 May 2021.
In the decision, the Municipal Council says:
- “Through the Wood Strategy, Elverum Municipality has made an important contribution to the transition to the circular economy. This is completely in line with a number of guidelines both nationally and internationally, and which can be referred to as good examples of inspiration in our own environment, but also for others.”
CircPro project was involved in preparing the strategy. Eldri Svisdal, who is both deputy mayor and responsible for the Norwegian part of the project, says Elverum is strongly influenced by forest and wood, and she thinks it is important to retain and further develop this as a distinctive feature for the city and the municipality.
- “I hope that raising awareness about the use of wood in buildings will also contribute positively to the wood-based industry in the region, and strengthen the municipality and the region on its way into the green shift. In addition, wooden buildings - as the strategy points out - are good for both health, climate, and the environment, so an increased investment in wooden buildings will be positive for everyone”, says Svisdal.
The Wood Strategy is based on objectives that are anchored in other plans. The municipality's own experiences with wooden construction are gathered in a separate Handbook of Experiences which will be completed in the winter of 2021/22.
- "I think the new wood strategy is well made with easy-to-understand descriptions and explanations of the various elements the strategy deals with, and why they are important. This makes the strategy a good summary of the municipality's goals related to wood and wood use, so you do not have to look for this in various plans and documents”, says Alf Kristian Enger, Norwegian project manager at CircPro.
- “There are several benefits to building in wood; the building materials can be reused, it is better for the environment. Efforts must be made to cooperate and increase competence locally and regionally. The municipality must continue to actively use the opportunities within the procurement regulations and build on the experiences from its own construction projects. We should continue to collaborate in national and international projects and networks to gain access to updated expertise and professional resources”, says Enger.