About the project and report
Rethinking wood is a cross-border collaboration with wood in focus. The shorter assignment described in this report is part of the Interreg project Green growth wood - rethinking wood. The purpose of the work has been to describe perceived border obstacles linked to wood construction and to highlight border opportunities for companies in the Swedish-Norwegian border region between Oslo and Gothenburg.
During the autumn and winter of 2019-2020, we conducted qualitative interviews with company leaders and other company representatives in wood and construction related companies. This report provides an overview of some areas that can today hamper the development of the construction industry across the Swedish-Norwegian border.
All interviewees describe the challenges and opportunities of establishing on the other side the Swedish-Norwegian border. For the border region (between Oslo-Gothenburg) to be a common market for the wood and construction sector, differences need to become more known to all actors and skills around the differences are built up. Even the mental and cultural differences are still large, which creates problems if you are not aware of it.
Taking assignments in Norway works in much the same way as in Sweden, according to the interviewees. However, the Swedish companies that have worked in Norway point to differences in how the Norwegian municipalities' control system works. This entails both more administration and documentation of what companies have done.
Information and skills-enhancing efforts are hard currency so that border barriers do not arise or be strengthened. Several of the interviewees point out that there are quite large differences in concepts and rules, just as in roles and processes.
Some interviewees believe that if the companies can achieve a cost-effective production based on current building standards in Norway and Sweden, then different building standards present an opportunity.