Wood as a construction material is getting more and more spotlight in the current world where the desire of sustainable solutions is constantly growing. Tuukka Kyläkallio, manager of service portfolio development at PPG Tikkurila in Finland, sees a great opportunity for modern wood products to be the next big trend setter when it comes to construction. He firmly believes that wood, as a sustainable construction material, holds immense potential for the future. Join us in delving into the world of wood constructions and their remarkable environmental benefits, courtesy of Tuukka.
One Mission, Two Passions
Tuukka first joined PPG Tikkurila's customer support team as student seeking a summer job. At that time, he was studying wood engineering. The theme he selected for his thesis was “fire protection solutions”, which engrossed Tuukka in the topic of wood.
Tuukka finished his studies and began gathering work experience. He started his career at Tikkurila's sales and marketing team, a position he maintained for 4 years. After that, he had the opportunity to work for one of the biggest wood processing companies in Finland, where he worked closely with business development in wood construction for five years. Tuukka returned to Tikkurila one year ago. By then, Tikkurila was already an inseparable part of PPG. Currently, Tuukka holds the position of manager of service portfolio development.
He expresses his deep affinity for wood as a construction material. Both companies boast a rich history of emphasizing wood and wood construction, and after the acquisition of Tikkurila by PPG, Tuukka saw the opportunity to elevate the Tikkurila wood construction legacy to a global level. This tremendous opportunity is what enticed him to return to PPG Tikkurila!
What he finds most gratifying about his projects is their potential to connect individuals and competences from diverse strategic business units (SBUs) through a common objective.
I thoroughly enjoy networking. We gather a multitude of ideas and working techniques from different countries, ensuring that what we create is as efficient, modern, and progressive as it can be.
Tuukka's fascination with wood construction planted its roots already at the time when he was deciding for his field of study. "Back then, I chose this department because wood is a natural, tactile material that engages your senses, allowing you to feel and smell it."
From then on, Tuukka observed that whenever a project involving wood construction arose, he was often invited to participate, as his affinity for working with wood was well-known.
Global Wood Care Project
Shortly after rejoining PPG Tikkurila, Tuukka found a remarkable opportunity to take the concept of wood care to the next level, through the global Wood Care project.
Through this project, we were able to explore how teams from various countries approach wood, the differences in wood construction practices between Europe and the U.S., and the technologies utilized in each region.
Tikkurila itself has a longstanding history intertwined with wood, spanning both the industrial and architectural spheres. The entire process of working with wood, starting from its sourcing and extending to design and manufacturing, encompasses what Tuukka describes as a value chain.
This value chain involves numerous organizations and individuals, and it is precisely at this point that networking plays a crucial role.
"Lately, our focus has been on understanding this value chain and leveraging the diverse knowledge present within our various strategic business units and areas." This concept has facilitated extensive and effective collaboration across the company.
One PPG: Connecting the Playground
Tuukka likes to compare the construction industry to a talent pool where designers, architects, engineers, developers, investors, and construction companies collaborate to create intricate layers of innovation.
To fully unlock the potential of this industry, we have to perceive it as a unified value chain rather than a collection of lone players. By doing so, we can tap into this vast talent pool and derive countless benefits.
However, Tuukka emphasizes that bridging the gap between various cultures doesn't happen without any challenges. "There are differences in our perspectives on customers, our operational approaches, and the predominant technologies we employ. This presents a valuable opportunity to comprehend and study the variations across different business units and regions."
Within this talent pool, Tuukka asserts that it is crucial for our company to establish a stronger presence and become a well trusted development partner. This enables us to collaborate effectively and make an impact on the entire value chain.
"It is not just about the development of individual businesses; the industry as a whole must progress together."
Growing to be Sustainable
Speaking of development, current global trends are steering construction industry towards more sustainable solutions, which is incidentally what wood construction has to offer. Wood is a renewable building material that stores carbon throughout its life cycle. Wooden elements and modules are also lighter compared to other main building materials, saving costs, time and emissions e.g. from logistics and foundations. Tuukka hints at the emergence of "truly exciting" opportunities in this realm.
Not only do our products embody sustainability, but we also want to assist our customers in achieving more sustainability in their processes. "For instance, if they utilize our paint, the facade can be preserved for up to 20 years longer. And by using our fire protection products, they can reduce the required amount of other materials used." Ultimately, this leads to time, energy, and material savings, resulting in significant financial benefits.
Inherently, using wood offers a sustainable approach to construction. According to Tuukka, "sustainable construction is exactly what our planet needs."