Last year, the total turnover of log house industry in Finland rose to €230 million, a third of which came from exports. Compared to the previous year, the total growth was €22 million, i.e., more than 10 per cent.
Traditionally, Central and South Europe have been the major export areas for Kuusamo Log Houses. The company sells log buildings to more than a dozen countries, with the farthest markets in Japan and Korea. Currently, the company is aiming to gain new markets in the west.
Kuusamo Log Houses Export Manager Olli Kivivuori says that due to lack of tradition in log construction and a practically non-existent modern log house industry, Sweden has great potential as a future market. In addition, Swedish builders are interested in log as a building material for holiday homes.
– The popularity of second homes is rapidly increasing in Sweden, and owners are looking for higher and higher quality.
The main competition on the Swedish market comes from Estonia.
Focus on green values and timber origin
According to Leif Wester, Kuusamo Log Houses sales representative in Umeå, Sweden, the Swedish market is developing rapidly and expectations are high. For instance, the construction of an eight-storey timber building is about to start in Umeå.
– Traditionally, house building in Sweden has relied on precast elements. Our timber reserves are good, but it is remarkable how few houses have been built from log in Sweden.
According to Mr Wester, there is active discussion on indoor climate of buildings in Sweden, and log as healthy building material has received a lot of attention.
– The environmentally sustainable and healthy properties of log are much appreciated. Green values and the origin of timber is important to Swedish people. As raw material, the tight-grained, slowly- grown north Finnish timber is particularly valued.
The raw material for Kuusamo Log Houses comes from Pölkky Oy.
Pölkky’s annual production of sawn timber is approximately 680,000 m3, of which more than 40 per cent is upgraded. In 2017, the company’s total turnover was approximately €161 million, with exports exceeding €100 million.
Kuusamo Log House
In the early 1990s, the two brothers Simo and Arto Orjasniemi started a house and cabin building business in Kuusamo.
In 1997, Kuusamo Log Houses was founded together with local partners, the owners of Pölkky Oy that time Jouko and Antti Virranniemi, and Pölkky Oy.
The company has grown from a small, local operator into one of Finland’s biggest manufacturers of log houses and cabins. Measured by turnover, in 2017 Kuusamo Log Houses was the fifth biggest log house manufacturer in Finland with a 10 per cent market share.
The turnover of Kuusamo Log Houses o is approximately €16 million, and the company has nearly 50 employees. The company’s office and production facilities are located near Kuusamo town centre.