Lehto Group Plc
26 March 2019, at 7.00 a.m. (EET)
- Lehto’s Deco concept for wooden blocks of flats responds to demand from homebuyers who appreciate environmental awareness and sustainability alongside the growing popularity of wood construction.
- Through an innovative website, flat buyers can design their home online for the first time. The advanced online shop allows customers to choose not only the interior design but also furniture for their new home.
- Changes in the business environment, such as favouring wooden blocks of flats in zoning and the need for complementary building, have also supported the creation of the concept.
- Lehto believes that Deco will also raise interest on the Swedish market.
Lehto Housing service area will launch an ecological and industrially manufactured wooden block of flats concept that provides customers with the bonus of being able to customise their own home to a greater degree than usual. As an industrially produced wooden block of flats concept, Lehto’s model is among the first in Finland.
Wood construction responds to market expectations
Developing the concept of a wooden block of flats as a product in Lehto’s housing range was a natural choice, arising largely from megatrends: environmental awareness and domestic production.
“A wooden block of flats is the choice of an environmentally conscious home-buyer, and wood construction in any case always brings cosiness and style to living. I can well understand that wood as a raw material is increasingly in demand among home-buyers. Demand was one of the main reasons why Lehto also wanted to start developing a sustainable, cosy and reasonably priced form of housing based on wood construction,” says Project Director Riku Kimpimäki from Lehto.
The construction of wooden blocks of flats is also interesting due to the changes in the business environment. At present, the construction of wooden blocks of flats is supported by zoning-suitable plots in central locations in growth centres, for example. Another aspect relates to complementary building:
“Wooden blocks of flats are quite appropriate for current additional and complementary construction projects. The short construction period of Deco houses causes less inconvenience to neighbours, and the flexibility of the concept allows new buildings to be adapted to the built environment. Projects are implemented mainly in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and other growth centres, but the building method also enables affordable construction in smaller locations,” Riku Kimpimäki adds.
Now flat buyers can also design their own home online
Online design programs in the construction sector have usually only been available for detached houses – now even flat buyers can design their home digitally. In Deco, the possibilities for planning and choice have been taken even further: in addition to interior design choices, the customer may order additional items for his/her flat, including furniture. The innovative design website can be compared to the automotive industry, where customers can select various accessories for their car in an online shop.
“A Deco home buyer can first choose the colours for their kitchen, laminates, bathroom tiles and fixtures, for example. We wanted to take the service even further and added options: customers can also buy their furniture online from sofas to kitchen tables. We’ve built a large network of partners around the concept. Our goal is that the service package is as easy as possible for the customer,” says Riku Kimpimäki.
At the moment, customisable wooden blocks of flats are under construction in Sipoo and Tampere. Customers can also build their dream home online and leave a message for the seller on their preferred location for new projects.
Deco as an export to the Swedish market?
Lehto is also seeking international growth, and the business is currently being launched in Sweden. Solutions are needed in the Swedish housing market that combine affordability, quality and fast construction. On the other hand, sustainability and environmental considerations are emphasised even more than on the Finnish market.
“Deco combines quality, affordability, fast construction and, naturally, ecological aspects through wood construction. We believe that our product will also interest buyers in our western neighbour. Lehto is spurred by the fact that the benefits of industrial prefabrication are also appreciated in Sweden, as they have a long tradition of this type of construction. The climate conditions are similar in Sweden and Finland, and it is also an advantage there that construction can be carried out indoors in factories instead of in the slush outdoors on construction sites. In factories, the moisture-controlled chain is uninterrupted and quality can be monitored better,” Riku Kimpimäki explains.
Lehto’s wooden blocks of flats are constructed with domestic raw materials, mainly at Lehto’s factories in Oulainen and Hartola. The use of modern industrial manufacturing in construction simultaneously guarantees quality, affordability and a speedy construction period. In addition to entire flat elements, Lehto’s factories also produce furniture. Lehto has now grown into one of Finland’s biggest furniture manufacturers.
“The details concerning flats are important to customers in their everyday life. Furniture manufactured at Finnish factories is of very high quality, which was an important element to use in developing the Deco concept. Mass production keeps the prices reasonable. Customers have plenty of choice in the design of their homes: everyone is sure to find their favourite from among the interior design and colour options prepared by architects. A lot of attention has been paid to architecture in the planning phase,” Riku Kimpimäki emphasises.
Additional information and interview requests:
Riku Kimpimäki, Project Director, Lehto Housing, tel. +358 (0)40 770 8331
Website for wooden blocks of flats, including the design program:
www.decokodit.fi available from 26 March 2019
BACKGROUND INFORMATION FOR THE PRESS:
The Lehto way of building: quality, affordability, speedy construction phase
Lehto has reformed the construction industry by transferring construction from worksites to factories:
We influence quality foremost through the moisture-controlled construction chain, where work is not carried out at the mercy of the weather but indoors in factories under standardised conditions. Quality control is also stricter than is typically the case at construction sites.
Construction in factories is also faster in many respects, since phases are carried out in series instead of being built out of construction materials at the worksite, where – in the case of blocks of flats – the materials need to be transported from one floor to another. We also manufacture complete flats, or space elements, which we transport to the site to be installed. This is why even the construction site phase is faster than usual.
The price level of Lehto’s properties is reasonable due to a manufacturing method that is overhauling the industry: the company employs industrial prefabrication and standardised solutions in construction. In addition, the company focuses on cost-conscious design that aims to ensure the affordability of the buildings.