Julkaisun nimiConsumers’ Consciousness for Sustainable Consumption and Their Perceptions of Wooden Building Product Quality
KirjoittajatCharlotta Harju, Katja Lähtinen
JulkaisijaForest Products Journal


Wood products are seen globally as an important solution to substitute nonrenewable materials in the construction sector to enhance the life cycle sustainability of buildings. Globally, the most prominent opportunities for sustainability change in housing production lie in multistory residential buildings, which are built mainly of concrete, steel, and bricks. The possibilities of achieving multiple benefits from the use of wood in multistory residential buildings have gained interest among scholars, especially in the 2000s. However, the research has been dominated by views of production (especially construction processes), while scientific knowledge of consumption (especially the occupational phase of buildings) remains very limited. Information about how consumers with differing views of sustainable consumption evaluate the quality of wooden building materials particularly is scarce. This study aimed to investigate consumer perceptions of wooden building product quality and examine how the perceptions connect with consumers’ consciousness for sustainable consumption (CSC). The research data were gathered in 2018 by a postal survey sent to 1,000 people living in Finland (response rate 25.6%) and analyzed with exploratory factor analysis and the Mann-Whitney U test. According to the results, respondents’ views of wooden building product quality indicators can be grouped into three factors: technical advantages, environmental sustainability of materials, and social benefits at home. The strength of CSC was found to be linked with respondents’ views of wooden building product quality. The results of consumers’ CSC views help actors involved in the wood and construction industries better meet consumer expectations both for different aspects of sustainability and for lifestyles.

Julkaisun nimiCo-developing sustainability – a consumer-inclusive approach to wooden housing business in Finland
KirjoittajatEliisa Kylkilahti, Minna Autio, Viktor Harvio, Ulrika Holmberg, Anne Toppinen
JulkaisijaHousing Studies


The housing construction industry can address sustainability issues by developing its business practices. This requires a shift from a firm-driven business logic to a consumer-inclusive approach where consumers and businesses together enhance sustainable development. By analyzing data from focus group discussions with both industry experts in the wooden multi-storey construction business and consumers residing in novel wooden buildings, this study examines how businesses can engage consumers in the development of sustainable housing. The results are presented as an iterative dialogue process that acknowledges consumers as important actors to whom innovative housing solutions should be appropriately introduced and whose lived experiences need to be understood. The findings indicate that consumer experiences can feed the creation and uptake of innovations that enhance sustainability in the construction sector. The study fosters the material aspect of sustainable housing and, by highlighting consumer participation and communication, proposes tools for its consumer-inclusive co-development.