Key trends in timber industry: development of wooden housing construction

Trend No. 6 on our list of ten key trendsthat have influenced the forestry industry over the past decade and will continue to shape it in the coming years - the development of wooden housing construction.

Like deep processing of wood, wooden house construction is a key area of the strategy for the development of the Russian forestry complex until 2030. The industry was encouraged to increase the domestic market for consumption of wood products by the reduction in the volume of exports of timber products from the Russian Federation.

As part of the implementation of this direction, a roadmap for the development of wooden housing construction was approved in July 2022, and the action plan was approved by the Ministry of Construction of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia. And in November 2022, a state program was launched to subsidize the production of wooden house kits worth up to 3.5 million rubles. Manufacturers give a 10% discount when selling house kits and receive a corresponding subsidy from the state.

At the end of 2022, the number of wooden houses in individual housing construction for the first time exceeded the number of houses made of other materials. Along with the development of the individual housing construction market, the government intends to stimulate the construction of social facilities made of wood.

Many regions of Russia are actively introducing wooden construction into their work:

  • The Irkutsk region ranks fourth in the country in terms of the share of wooden individual housing construction: over the past six years, an increase in the commissioning of individual wooden housing has been observed in the Angara region. In 2022, the share of such houses was 53.4%. On average in Russia this figure is 25.7%. In October 2023, regional governor Igor Kobzev presented the concept of the interregional program “Development of wooden housing construction in the Siberian Federal District until 2035.”
  • A housing complex made from CLT panels of the Russian timber industry holding Segezha Group in the city of Sokol, Vologda region, was included in the collection Circularity Concepts in Wood Construction 2023. These are the results of a study of the possibilities of organizing closed-cycle production in the field of wooden housing construction, published by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) .
  • The Northwestern Federal District is a leader in the number of priority investment projects in the field of forest development. Eleven of them are aimed at producing structures and materials for wooden house construction: five are being implemented in the Vologda region, three in the Komi Republic, one each in the Arkhangelsk, Novgorod regions and Karelia.
  • The Arctic regions of Russia are territories where wooden house-building technologies are especially beneficial, since they not only reduce costs, but also allow them to work effectively in conditions of low temperatures and a short summer period. It is no coincidence that it was in the Arkhangelsk region that a meeting was held on the development of the timber industry, following which the President of the Russian Federation ordered to expand the use of wooden low-rise construction for the resettlement of emergency houses, to increase the production of prefabricated house kits, and also to use wood for the construction of social infrastructure. Among the important instructions of the President of the Russian Federation to support the forestry industry is subsidizing the construction of low-rise wooden houses for the resettlement of emergency housing. For these purposes, 10 billion rubles will be allocated from the federal budget in 2023 and 2024.
  • The flagship project “House of the Far East” operates in the Khabarovsk Territory, which is focused on the construction of individual houses from local materials.

In October 2023, the Government of the Russian Federation supported three bills on the development of wooden housing construction, prepared by the Ministry of Construction of the Russian Federation. They will protect citizens from unscrupulous contractors, reduce the cost of individual housing construction and increase the construction of wooden houses.