Story | 09/18/2023 14:24:09 | 6 min Read time

WISA-Wall Ergo carefully selected for Swedish sustainable arena construction

There is a lot of building activity in the Swedish town Sandviken, where the municipality is investing heavily in a new lavish multi-sports arena. UPM’s ergonomic lightweight plywood WISA-Wall Ergo is to be used for all interior walls, estimated to be close to 10,000 square metres.

When Sandviken municipality, in central Sweden, took the decision to spend SEK 260 million, more than EUR 23 million, on a new state-of-the-art sports facility with an arena, sustainability was a keyword.  

“Consideration for the environment is extremely important. We only purchase from suppliers who have an approved environmental assessment for their products,” says Örjan Persson, one of the site managers from the turnkey contractor SEHED Bygg Gävleborg. 

The building contractor requires that each product is carefully logged in for registration with an approved building/environmental product declaration, which all of the WISA plywood panelling and boards have. And the Swedish workplace environment requirements are strict. WISA-Wall Ergo’s ergonomic features – which include low weight, convenient size and ease of assembly – may have played a decisive role in the choice. 

“We listened to our employees when we decided on using “ergo-plyfa” which is easy to work with and easily assembled. We also use lightweight gypsum. In the long term, sickness absenteeism should be less frequent since employees feel more valued. It’s fantastic that the products are evolving, becoming even lighter,” says Örjan Persson, adding that he himself certainly didn’t work with such fantastic materials when he worked as a carpenter some fifteen years ago. 

“If the old 1200 mm boards were to be used today, half of the staff would hand in their notice.” 

The 900 mm panels, which are now standard and still most common in Sweden, weigh 13.5 kilograms, while a WISA-Wall Ergo panel of the same thickness (12 mm) weighs only 8 kilograms. Five kilogrammes less weight means considerably less strain on construction workers’ shoulders on a day-to-day basis. 


Riku Härkönen, who is the Product Manager for WISA Spruce Plywood products, emphasizes that UPM tries to meet user needs to develop an optimal product.

“WISA-Wall Ergo is a patented special product that is, above all, easy to work with. It is flexible, and by following the easy general instructions, you won't run into problems. Making a mistake is practically impossible. We always have our ears to the ground, and there are no limits to improvement and progress.”

Another characteristic of WISA-Wall Ergo is that the panels have a edge machining on the long sides and are fitted horizontally onto the walls. When the second and subsequent panels are fitted, they can quickly be hooked into place. Fitting the panels in this way has a stabilizing impact on the construction. In particular, if the joists are 300 or 450 millimetres apart, you can continue to connect the panels without there having to be a joist in place behind the panels. This significantly reduces wastage.

The panels cover 1.5 square metres and measure 2400 x 618 mm (including the edge machining). Because they are narrower than standard, the bundled panels, which are stacked at the seller C24 Bygg, are also lighter. They are supplied to the multi-sport facility in the Jernvallen area on a continuous basis, where they are conveniently loaded onto a trolley, taken to where they are needed and unpacked.

Approximately 10,000 square metres of interior wall panels are installed with the best alternative – WISA-Wall Ergo – in premises that will grow to four sports halls and an arena with 1,150 seats.

Next to the main arena, which will be used for elite-level floorball, carpenters, Adam Ström and Melwin Gulliksson, work with automatic screw guns to apply the screws to the edge machining in the twelve millimetres thick, flat and sanded WISA-Wall Ergo panels, which consist of five veneered layers of spruce from sustainable forests.

“The panels are very easy to work with. We just continue to assemble the panels horizontally without having to make any edge joins at a joist. It is much faster than the traditional way of fitting panels,” says Adam.

Melwin adds:
“The edge machining also makes the work very easy; you just press the panels into place and they hook into each other and there is less waste as we can make use of the pieces we have cut off.”

Young carpenters in particular are big fans of the WISA-Wall Ergo panels.


No complaints or delivery delays

Site managers Örjan Persson and Robin Johansson at SEHED Bygg are satisfied with the choice of construction plywood. The suppliers from C24 are also satisfied; deliveries have worked flawlessly.

“Even during the corona pandemic, supply was excellent,” says logistics manager Per Linderdahl
It’s been a bit touch-and-go with delivery precision from other manufacturers in the past.

“And a couple of years ago, there was a lot of foreign plywood of deplorable quality,” says Örjan Persson.

It feels reassuring to hear building materials salesperson Kenneth Östergren say that there have not been any complaints at all regarding WISA-Wall Ergo in this project. The product itself has not caused any issues, and the promised quality is met in full.

All in all, WISA-Wall Ergo is a great product to use from an ergonomic point of view and is an affordable product that results in less waste, less cutting and less screwing.

The name of the new multi-sport arena in Sandviken has not yet been decided, but it is part of the largest investment that the municipality, with its 39,000 inhabitants, has made in health and sports throughout history. By the autumn of 2024, the facility, designed by Skoog Arkitekter, will be completed.

UPM Plywood offers certain market-specific products. WISA-Wall Ergo has been developed to support Swedish construction methods, but similar edge-machined WISA products are also available for other markets.

  • WISA-Wall Ergo is suitable for many different constructions and has areas of use in several other construction projects in Sweden. 
  • Ljungberg Fritzøe AB is UPM Plywood’s partner in Sweden.  
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