During the work on this project, a lot of important know-how has been gained on how to build wooden buildings with more than 10 stories. One of the main challenges involved in building tall buildings from wood is the low weight. Tall, wooden buildings are therefore more exposed to oscillation and vibration. Advanced calculations have been applied to document that the requirements on comfort for this type of building have been met, by making use of concrete load-bearing platforms on the fifth and tenth floors.
The type of construction exemplified by Treet, using glulam structures and prefabricated modules, is a complete innovation. As a result, a lot of valuable experience has also been gained within assembly techniques and logistics, and this will be of great benefit to similar projects in the future. The project was completed according to schedule and without delays.
The 45-metre long frame works were engineered and manufactured by Moelven Limtre AS. Once Treet is completed, parts of the structures will be visible both indoors and outdoors.
2014 was also a good year on the market for Moelven. A number of improvements combined to generate such positive growth; including a more even balance between prices for raw materials and finished goods, a significantly higher level of activity on our markets, improvements in currency factors and in-house improvement measures.
Each Division can report a significant increase in operating profit from 2013, and this is great news.
The project-based Building Systems Division was unfortunately not able to meet its budget in terms of operating profit, but ended the year with an extremely healthy and positive order backlog. In 2015, the Division’s companies in Norway and Sweden will be both completing and initiating a number of major projects. We are therefore confident of a substantial improvement in profit for this Division in 2015.
Despite such positive words, it is important to avoid complacency. We cannot take the luxury of relaxing, patting ourselves on the back and telling ourselves that we've finally succeeded.
Moelven is currently in a process of change and development. We have a lot to be proud of and a world of opportunities. But we still have areas that require improvement.
In the autumn of 2014, Moelven's corporate management recommended a plan of action to the Board of Directors that laid out the direction and specified the most important target areas for the Moelven Group over the next five years. Although many of the companies in the Group are very successful, others still unfortunately have some way to go before they achieve their performance targets. Hence the new plan of action.
We now have to concentrate on creating the type of culture for success, full safety and cooperation that will allow us to achieve our goals for improved earnings and profitable growth – throughout the organisation.
We will work tirelessly on improving our competitive strengths. I would therefore like to stress – irrespective of our improvements in profit performance – that we will continue to focus just as much if not even more on such measures in the years to come.
That said, we can still take pleasure from the positive development within the Moelven Group.
We have a unique position in Europe as a supplier to the building industry in terms of product range. I feel justified in claiming that Moelven is able to deliver the majority of building systems for any type of building.
We are the market leader within the development of new interior and exterior solutions in timber, supplied via Norwegian, Swedish and Danish chains of builders' merchants. We are the only supplier to offer the complete product range within solid wood flooring, mouldings and panelling in 16 different modern shades. We can deliver these products to the customer's door one week after an order has been placed. No other supplier can match this.
Moelven is in the process of developing a completely new module-based housing system that will allow us to benefit much more from and exploit the advantages of industrial building – including lower building costs and shorter building time. The customer – be it the building owner, contractor or apartment buyer – receives the same product in principle, and we can exploit the full benefits of our industrial logistics system.
We are the market leader within flexible office furnishings for commercial buildings. These products provide the customer with flexible systems with which you can simply and quickly reorganise an office when your company is restructuring or needs a change of office or room layout. In 2014 alone, Moelven was responsible for the furnishing of approx. 20,000 rooms in Norway and Sweden.
The Group also has the widest range of load-bearing glulam structures on the market, in addition to associated products. I can confidently claim that Moelven has world-leading construction expertise and is the most reliable partner you can choose if you are planning to erect a building and need small or large and complex load-bearing wooden structures. The world's tallest timber building using glulam structures from Moelven is under construction and will be completed in 2015.
With our module, furnishing and glulam solutions, we are the foremost industrial building enterprise in Scandinavia. We are also one of the leading wood-working corporations in Europe, and take great pride in this role.
Nonetheless, we have to take into account modern methods used by the public to search for information and learn about our products and services. One key criterion for success is being able to provide efficient online systems and information via social media for our customers, end users and suppliers.
We therefore have to meet new expectations and modern communication methods with the correct mix of expertise and a skilled business organisation.
Our goal is to be able to take pride in being the natural choice of partner for our customers, suppliers and employees for years to come.