Swiss Krono points to bright timber construction future, despite pandemic

29 June 2020


Wood-based panels producer Swiss Krono Group says its production and sales of OSB is holding up well despite economic challenges in Germany due to Covid-19.

Uwe Jöst, head of sales OSB at Swiss Krono Group, said despite interruptions in the German construction industry due to general material bottlenecks and a shortage of workers, the company’s OSB production was currently at its “highest level”.

“So far, we have seen increasing demand,” he said. “The slump has not yet reached this segment, at least.”

The main association of the German construction industry published the results of surveys in May that painted a picture: construction companies see less demand, performance restrictions, cancellations, no tenders and accordingly a decline in sales.

Mr Jöst said forecasts were difficult to make at the moment but it was important to develop a vision and try to help shape the future positively.

“Let's take a look at some of the big megatrends for the future: sustainability, health, urbanization, individualization,” he said.

“Timber construction builds on all of these trends and serves these needs and changes. And that is exactly why timber construction has come through the crisis so well compared to the entire construction industry and still has good prospects.”

Mr Jöst said he was pleased politics was now pulling in the same direction and the federal states are promoting timber construction.

“This includes not only financial subsidies, but also adjustments to building regulations that open up more opportunities for wood as a raw material - even in multi-storey buildings. It is important that further measures to stimulate the economic upswing always have an eye on climate protection and that it is best to invest in future technologies. This also includes innovative, powerful and sustainable building materials. 

“Perhaps the surge [for wood construction materials] during the pandemic is not as steep as it would have been without such a major global event. But still, we can be optimistic about the post-Corona period. With various marketing measures and campaigns, we were fully committed to paving the way for timber construction before Covid-19. We will continue this now and further advance our vision of a future in wood.”