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Issue 4.1

Designing for Durability: Helsinki Central Library’s Wood Facade

The Helsinki Central Library, Oodi, opened to the public in December 2018, is characterized by an ambitious, large-scale wood facade. To achieve the high-performance expectations for the facade, the City of Helsinki formed a steering group of professionals in the field of wood construction. The group’s objective was to develop and guide the detail design for the cladding. To obtain the best possible wood quality and durability, the research team examined the whole production chain: from the procurement of raw materials to the maintenance of the finished facade. The multidisciplinary research included a survey of existing large-scale wood cladding, identifying potential challenges and knowledge gaps that would warrant additional investigation and finding solutions through laboratory testing and further research. Through a rewarding dialog between research and practice, a set of guidelines were developed for the Oodi cladding that set standards for future wood construction in Finland.

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