The President recognized the best prefabricated timber houses
02. August 2020

Estonian Woodhouse Association and Estonian Wooden Houses Cluster announced the best factory produced timber houses in Hiiumaa on July 31. Awards were presented by the President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid. Overall winner of the contest is a residential houses development project by Arca Nova Element OÜ in Norway.

Purpose of the Prefab House of the Year contest is to promote wooden houses and special solutions produced by Estonian companies and via this promote wood as a versatile building material.

The President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid. Photo: Kaie Kiil/Estonian Woodhouse Association

Wood is a future of our housing construction and reason for that is very simple – we already calculate our houses’ energy performance not only according to how much energy the house consumes while living in it but how big is the carbon footprint of the building process,“ said President Kaljulaid when distributing awards of the contest. „Our neighbouring Finns lead energy efficiency label changing project in Europe, so that in case of wooden houses binding of CO2 would start to be taken into consideration. I hope that Estonian politicians have willingness to participate in this project in order to start using such labelling also in Estonia, to show the benefits of wooden houses better,“ added the head of the state.  

Contest´s overall winner is a housing development and thoroughly considered complex that skilfully connects buildings with the surrounding environment. The development is architecturally well structured and blends into the landscape. Room solution of the buildings is rational. Buildings and the surrounding environment make up a comprehensive living environment. The entire surrounding public space has been functionally developed. Reusable energy solution in buildings is solved by solar panels that cover the entire roof space.

Overall winner of the contest - Arca Nova Element OÜ. Photo: Kaie Kiil/Estonian Woodhouse Association

Arca Nova Element OÜ Managing Director Janno Riidak noted after having received the award that they have built similar size developments before, but the current project was the first with long-term use outer facade solutions and plus- or zero energy buildings concept. „We have been active at the Norwegian market for 15 years, but such recognition was the first for our company and employees. It was a very nice surprise.“ Estonian construction sector should also realize more such developments, added Riidak.

Residential houses development by Arca Nova Element OÜ. Photo: Arca Nova

Prefab House of the Year contest, organized by Estonian Woodhouse Association and Cluster, was held for the 10th time. 21 woodhouse producers submitted their works to the contest, total of 34 different projects from Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Germany and even South-Korea. From among the submitted works an overall winner, best public building, development, apartment building, private house, small construction and special solution were chosen. Additionally, the jury and contest supporters also awarded several special prizes to contestants.

Main categories and special prizes: 

  • Overall winner and best development – Arca Nova Element OÜ, residential houses development in Norway
  • Best apartment building – Kodumaja, apartment building in Norway
  • Best public building – KMT Prefab OÜ, kindergarten in Norway
  • Best private house – Profab Houses AS, private home in Rannamõisa
  • Best small construction – Kodasema OÜ, KODA Light in Germany
  • Best special solution – EstNor OÜ, office building facade element project in Norway
  • Best timber use special prize – KMT Prefab OÜ, train station facade in Sweden
  • Best standard solution special prize – Matek AS, apartment buildings in Tartu
  • Best handcrafted log house special prize – Vipson Projekt OÜ, private home in Norway
    • Additionally, BMI Monier special prize, Kyocera Senco special prize and NorDan special prize
  • ISOVER special prize for the most energy efficient building – EstNor OÜ, apartment buildings in Kiili municipality
  • Regional development special prize  – Hobbiton OÜ, guesthouse on Prangli island
  • AkzoNobel special prize for the best colour solution and Tervemaja special prize for the most air-tight building – Timbeco Woodhouse OÜ, apartment building in Tallinn
  • VELUX special prize for the best lighting solution and ESSVE special prize – Happy Home/HH Prefab OÜ, private home in Viimsi
  • Delfi „Moodne kodu“ reader´s favourite special prize – Vipson Projekt OÜ handcrafted log house in Norway
The President of Estonia, winners and sponsors of the contest. Photo: Kaie Kiil/Estonian Woodhouse Association

Competition works were evaluated by TalTech Construction Physics professor dr Targo Kalamees, TalTech Director of Construction and Architecture Institute dr Jarek Kurnitski, architect Veronika Valk-Siska and journalist Eva Kiisler.  

The gala took place in Hiiumaa on July 31st, as part of summer conference of Estonian Woodhouse Association. 

Supporters of Prefab House of the Year 2020:



The contest is supported by the project of Estonian Wooden Houses Export Cluster within Enterprise Estonia´s cluster development program. Cluster measure is funded by European Regional Development Fund.

www.estonia.ee