Value Chain Collaboration

NCC Finland, Stora Enso and Ramboll have established a unique collaboration to better serve the end customers. What have we learned during the journey?

Apart from getting to know each other as companies and collaborators, the group of companies have focused on creating new insights and developing new low carbon building solutions - a value chain wide offering that makes especially massive wood a viable choice as a main frame material for industrial construction. Making the concrete solutions and their emission impacts more tangible allows for a larger than earlier group of property owners and investors to make informed decisions in new building projects.

Working together with other value chain actors has numerous benefits for the construction sector:

1. Improving visibility and availability of low carbon solutions 

As the construction value chain consists of many different actors, gathering emission data and analyzing it into actionable outcomes is difficult. Only through multi-party collaboration where that data is openly shared, are we able to create well-rounded options for end customers efficiently. For example, the different building frame options, material characteristics and the project’s buildability cannot be assessed without an open dialogue between all relevant players, such as the architects, structural designers, material manufacturers and construction management companies.

Value chain collaboration improves information sharing and brings relevant information to decision makers:

Figure 1: The choices of building materials that affect the emissions most are made early on in the decision making process: by the building investoror the client. Nevertheless, a considerable part of the emissions is created in material production and manufacturing. This collaboration enables a faster and a more transparent information flow between the different parties of the decision-making chain, since they are in direct contact with each other. Graph applied from the Finnish Construction Industry Carbon Neutrality Roadmap to 2035 (Rakennusteollisuus Ry/Gaia Consulting Oy).

2. Early-phase collaboration enables efficient design

An industrial massive wood construction process looks different from a traditional industrial construction process in that the design phase takes a longer time. The compatibility of massive wood elements and other materials must be verified by design prior to starting the element production. When the massive wood supplier, the building designer and the general contractor work together from the very early stages of the design, this will ensure that critical information on the design solutions is shared and the design can proceed more efficiently. A closer collaboration with multiple actors in the value chain helps the end customer recognize the features of massive wood as a building material.

Figure 2: Example timetables for a traditional industrial construction project and an industrial massive wood construction project. Source: Ramboll

3. Enhanced emission control in the building design phase

Regulation development is pushing the construction industry to track the emissions from a building project, but the tools, calculation methods and methodologies for the tracking are still under development. Early collaboration and provision of information across the entire value chain make it easier to access the necessary emission data, to compare and make decisions on low carbon options.

4. Fast-track to optimal solutions

A value chain-wide collaboration helps companies solve challenges and dispel prejudice towards the use of massive wood as a construction material. An outside-in view coming from other organizations may fast-track the way companies develop their own processes and operations. Massive wood as a construction material is not necessarily the best choice in all cases, but when expertise is available from many different parties to the value chain it is easier to spot where and how massive wood can be the perfect low-carbon option. As itis a fairly new material in industrial construction, the collaboration between the key players and experts helps both construction companies and their customers in considering it as the main or hybrid frame material option.

5. Creating long-term business value

Value chain-wide collaboration is unique in the building industry. Companies are usually focused on their own offering in the construction ecosystem, be it material manufacturing, construction management or building design. Working closely together with other actors can unlock new business potential. This kind of joint business development also creates value over a longer term than a single plot competition or an alliance founded for a single building project.

Read more about the insights we gathered on the emission reduction potential of massive wood here and on the concrete solutions that NCC, Stora Enso and Ramboll can offer here.

Read more about our inter-organizational way of working here.