Woodhouse Association – university thesis' are important guides of sector development
20. August 2020

Estonian Woodhouse Association acknowledged the best final thesis related to woodhouse sector for the 6th time. This year's awarded scientific papers were about timber frame structure´s acoustics, sound isolation and wooden I-joists charring analysis or  aspects of hygrothermal performance of timber frame wall with rigid foam insulation.

The committee awarded Hugo Manguse´ (TalTech) paper worthy of the first prize. The main goal of the paper was to work out a designing method for finding the charring depth of I-joists in case of a standard fire situation. Based on tests presented in the thesis the author offered a method for finding a calculation method of charring factors in designing of timber-frame buildings. 

Hugo Manguse. Photo: EWA

„Although wood is well accessible, versatile, renewable and environmentally friendly construction material, in case of building construction wood and wood based composite construction elements are quite underrated. One of the reasons is certainly a myth stuck in people´s heads that wood is very flammable. Another problem is lack of experience and in some cases lack of calculation methods in dimensioning construction. 1st prize work is of great importance to the sector because it helps to adequately evaluate behaviour of timber constructions in case of fire and therefore enables to increase the sector´s competitive edge,“ explained the results Elar Vilt, Estonian Woodhouse Association´s development counselor. Also, when such calculation methods are available, it lessens necessity for fire tests, which take a lot of time and resources, added Vilt.

Woodhouse sector´s themed thesis` written in universities may also make it into construction sector´s documents. Master´s thesis by Hugo Manguse is on international level. His research results will be an input to new Eurocode 5 standard to create a uniform calculation method to calculate fire resistance of wooden I-joists.  Elar Vilt assures that Estonian scientists are leading in Europe when fire sfety issues are concerned. „Alar Just's research group´s work results are valued and expected on Estonian an EU level. Ready research and co-operation between scientists and woodhouse producers helps Estonian house factories to be up to date with modern solutions when designing fire safe wooden houses.“ Vilt adds that all submitted scientific papers are of valuable input for companies in developing their products and processes. „In order to make sure that woodhouse producers are sustainable and competitive, it is important to be aware of all new developments,“ says Vilt.

Science paper awards were announced in Hiiumaa on August 31 at „Prefab House of the Year 2020“ ceremony. Awarded students were congratulated by the President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid.

2nd prize Tauri Udras and Roland Rokka with the President of Estonia. Photo: Kaie Kiil/EWA


Additionally Woodhouse Association acknowledged Peep Pihelo for sector developing PhD thesis „Hygrothermal Performance of Prefabricated Timber Frame Insulation Elements for Deep Energy Renovation of Apartment Buildings“. 

Through the competition Woodhouse Association and Cluster provide their input in order to promote co-operation between the sector´s companies and educational institutions and inspire young people to write scientific papers on timber construction.  Awarding began in 2015, participants can be students from all schools on BSc, MSc and applied higher education level. The students papers have to consider prefab house production, development, marketing or other issues, offer problem solutions or provide considerable added value to Estonian woodhouse sector.


The best scientific paper competition held by woodhouse sector is supported by Enterprise Estonia Cluster development program, funded by European Regional Development Fund.