Centre for Funding and Development of Housing has chosen Finland’s Puukuokka Block as the recipient of the Best ARA Square Meters of the Year Award 2019.
The award is granted by ARA and given annually to a project providing affordable housing of high quality with a special attention on the long-term sustainability of the building over its entire life span. The Puukuokka Block is recognised as a unique and exemplary building project that paves way for a new approach to the construction of housing in the future.
This year marks 70 years of funding for loans by ARA for building affordable housing and the award is handed out during the annual ARA Day Seminar held on 15 January 2019. This year the seminar celebrates the anniversary of the loan granting activity of ARA.
The Puukuokka complex offers homes for 184 households from single dwellers of all ages to families with children. Finished in 2015, Puukuokka One was the first eight-storey high wooden apartment building in Finland. Puukuokka Two was completed in 2017, and Puukuokka Three in August 2018. With the completion of Puukuokka Three, the energy-efficient and ecological trio of multi-story wooden apartment buildings forming the Puukuokka Block is now complete. The Puukuokka housing has been extremely well received by the residents who praise it for creating a comfortable living environment with an excellent framework for a friendly and socially stable neighbourhood.
Puukuokka explores the potential of modular prefabricated cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction to provide environmentally responsible and affordable housing of high quality. Puukuokka attempts to make the best possible use of the technical and aesthetic qualities of CLT and to create a wooden building in large scale with a distinct architectonic expression of its own. The block also pilots an innovative lease-to-own financing strategy that aims to support social sustainability by promoting stable communities.
The concept for the application of volumetric CLT-modules to create multi-story apartment buildings with a loadbearing structure entirely made of wood was developed in collaboration with Stora Enso. The Puukuokka project was commissioned by Lakea and it was realised in collaboration with the City of Jyväskylä. The goals set for creating an innovative concept for an ecologically and socially sustainable concept for multi-family housing were exceedingly well met and the project was realised within the set budget framework and schedule.