Maximising the benefits of wood through public procurement

Lade School in Trondheim is demonstrating how municipalities can use the power of public procurement in driving change towards wood throughout the construction supply chain, reducing costs and meeting climate goals along the way.

Lade School, Developed by: Eggen Arkitekter, Betonmast Hæhre Trøndelag & Trondheim Municipality

To meet the ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% by 2030, Trondheim Municipality is putting low-carbon wooden buildings at the centre of its climate strategy. The municipality has now built three schools in wood, the most recent of which is Lade School, serving 740 pupils. The project proves that using the power of public procurement can drive innovation in local building practices and supply chains, and for this project all but one of the seven bids were for a wooden construction. By involving 39 apprentices in the school’s construction, the next generation of builders in the region are gaining the knowledge and skills to work with wood from a young age.

Thanks to the wooden construction, the GHG emissions associated with Lade School’s building materials have been reduced by 39%. A further 15% reduction in GHG emissions comes from lower energy consumption, and the building meets a passive house standard. Using wood has helped the designers to create a warm and friendly learning environment with a healthy indoor climate for the school’s students, with original artwork carved into some of the wooden walls. In the early planning stages, end users contributed to the design of the building, and since completion the municipality is using the school as an example to share its expertise on low-cost and low-carbon construction throughout Norway.  


  • innovation benifits icon: innovation benifits icon
  • innovation benifits title: INNOVATION
  • innovation benifits text: The masterpiece of the building is a 7.5 ton solid wooden spiral staircase, an architect’s dream that was thought to be impossible was turned into reality by a small local company with the support of Innovation Norway.
  • partnership benifits icon: partnership benifits icon
  • partnership benifits title: ECONOMIC
  • partnership benifits text: As the local supply chains become more adept at using wood, financial savings are starting to be realised, aided by shorted construction times, meaning that by building in wood, Lade School saved an estimated 4.8 million NOK.
  • economic benifits Icon: economic benifits Icon
  • economic benifits title: SOCIAL & LOCAL
  • economic benifits text: The construction site was used to train 39 apprentices, and the building has been flexibly designed to be used by the community outside of school hours, increasing the social and economic value of the building.

The Nordic Wood in Construction Secretariat is hosted by EIT Climate-KIC

The project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.