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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

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 and Engineering
2023, Volume: 18, number: 4, pages: 1275-1284

      SLU Authors

      • Sustainable Development Goals

        Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
        Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
        Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

        UKÄ Subject classification

        Building Technologies
        Business Administration

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