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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Impact of prospective residents' dwelling requirements on preferences for house construction materials

Roos, Anders; Hoen, Hans-Fredrik; Aguilar, Francisco X.; Haapala, Antti; Hurmekoski, Elias; Jussila, Jaakko; Lahtinen, Katja; Mark-Herbert, Cecilia; Nord, Tomas; Toivonen, Ritva; Toppinen, Anne


This study investigated people's requirements for multi-story housing attributes and preferences for apartments in wooden-structure versus steel/concrete-structure multi-story buildings. Data came from an online survey conducted in Finland and Sweden that screened for respondents who expressed a preference for living in an apartment, as compared with a low-rise dwelling. Responses were analyzed using exploratory factor and regression analyses. Swedish respondents assigned significantly higher requirements to factors related to environmental and social sustainability performance than Finnish respondents. Requirements in both countries were described across three factors: environmental and social sustainability, quality, and design. Factor scores differed between socioeconomic sub-groups, particularly regarding quality, between urban and non-urban respondents. Preferences to live in an apartment in a wooden building were positively associated with respondents' requirements for environmental and social sustainability, and negatively with requirements for quality-related attributes. Opposite relationships were found in the Swedish sample for apartments in non-wooden structure houses. Design requirements had no significant association with preferences for a specific material in load-bearing structures for multi-story buildings, in either country. The findings can contribute toward enhanced marketing efforts and customized value propositions to increase the social acceptability of multi-story wooden buildings and advance climate-related goals within the housing sector.


Housing preferences; product attributes; sustainability; timber housing; wood construction

Published in

Wood Material Science & Engineering

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Economics
Hoen, Hans Fredrik
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)
Aguilar, Francisco X (Aguilar Cabezas, Francisco X)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Economics
Haapala, Antti
University of Eastern Finland
Hurmekoski, Elias
University of Helsinki
Jussila, Jaakko
University of Helsinki
Lähtinen, Katja
Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Economics
Nord, Tomas
Linköping University
Toivonen, Ritva
University of Helsinki
Toppinen, Anne
University of Helsinki

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG13 Climate action
SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
SDG9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure

UKÄ Subject classification

Building Technologies
Business Administration

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)