Taking Low-carbon Design to China: VR-modeling Accelerating Digital and Sustainable Design

Treedee’s Mika Leinonen designed VR models of a modular space and a house as part of the Finnish Puu Paremmaksi (“Making Wood Better”), a project that aimed to contribute to low-carbon construction as well as wood construction, with an additional goal to accelerate the ongoing digitalization in the construction industry. 

The design challenge was not only to create something sustainable, but also a modern design that considers the cultural and environmental features of the target country, China.

As a result, Siheyuan SKANDI1 was born: an innovative hybrid design, with touches of both modern Scandinavian and traditional Asian. The materials were carefully selected to support sustainable design, the main materials being cross-laminated timber (CLT) and laminated veneer lumber (LVL). A traditional Japanese wood preservation method, Yakisugi, was used in the cladding, emphasizing the natural patterns of the wood. 

A miniature version and the stunning ceiling structure of Siheyuan SKAND1 was exhibited in 2019 in Habitare, Finland’s largest interior, design and furniture fair with close to 60,000 visitors every year.

Treedee was one of the companies who participated in Puu Paremmaksi, a project funded by the European Regional Development Fund. As part of the project, Treedee created an interactive VR model and a 360° panoramic image of a modular space. They also trained and consulted other project participants in Vray and provided expert judgement on 3D scanners and related software. Furthermore, they shared their expertise in software for virtual modeling and 3D visualization.

As part of his thesis, Treedee’s Mika Leinonen designed six different models of wooden luxury houses, of which Siheyan SKANDI1 served as a virtual showroom. It was a pleasure to work with Treedee and Mika – he was a professional and an independent problem solver, able to overcome challenges.

Kari Kuuspalo
Project Manager, Puu Paremmaksi project, Savonia University of Applied Sciences