UPM and Tongji University combine Chinese tea culture with innovative biomaterials in the Biofore Tea House

Press Release 13.5.2016 10:00 EEST

(UPM, Helsinki, 13 May 2016 at 09:00 EET) - UPM and the Shanghai-based Tongji University College of Design and Innovation started cooperation in 2015 with a target to create a modern concept for the traditional Chinese tea house by using UPM's innovative wood-based biomaterials. The project has now reached its goal with the introduction of the Biofore Tea House in the 'Moi Helsinki' event in Beijing, China on 13-15 May 2016.

Designed by the students of Tongji University, the Biofore Tea House has a modular design to support efficient manufacturing and mobility. Under the guidance of professor Chen Yongqun and lecturer Mo Jiao of Tongji University College of Design and Innovation, and with the support of UPM's experts, a team of six design students explored the many aspects of Chinese tea culture and UPM's innovative bio-based products.

"This project is a good example of Biofore thinking in practice. It involves international collaboration with talented young students who used their design skills and UPM's innovative biomaterials to produce something that is beautiful, meaningful and sustainable. The Biofore Tea House is the perfect symbol for Biofore in China. It pays tribute to the rich cultural heritage and looks into the future with confidence," says Elisa Nilsson, Vice President, Brand and Communications, UPM.

All UPM materials used in the Biofore Tea House are sustainable and recyclable. Strong, stiff and durable WISA® Plywood is used for the frame and decorative skin. UPM Grada®, a durable and ecological thermoformable wood material, is used in the main walls to showcase its endless design opportunities. The floor is made of high quality, modern UPM ProFi® Design Deck composite, which is both recycled and recyclable. It pleases the eye with beautiful colours inspired by the Finnish nature, and is also pleasant to touch. Moreover, it is a strong and virtually carefree material. The Biofore Tea House is complemented with UPM's label paper.

For further information, please contact:
Ms Elisa Nilsson, Vice President, Brand and Communications, UPM, tel. +358 40 500 3150

Pictures of the Biofore Tea House are available here.

UPM, Media Relations
9.00-16.00 EET
tel. +358 40 588 3284

About UPM Plywood
UPM Plywood manufactures high-quality WISA® plywood and veneer products mainly for construction and transport industries and the new thermo-formable UPM Grada® wood material for the form pressing industry. The sales of UPM Plywood in 2015 were EUR 439million and it has about 2,400 employees. UPM Plywood has six plywood mills and a veneer mill in Finland, and plywood mills in Russia and Estonia. www.wisaplywood.com, www.upmgrada.com

About UPM ProFi
UPM Biocomposites consists of UPM ProFi outdoor products for construction and UPM Formi granulates for injection moulding and extrusion. UPM Biocomposites business develops, manufactures, markets and sells high-quality composites whose principle ingredients are cellulose fibers and polymers. UPM Biocomposites factories are located in Finland and Germany. www.upmprofi.com, www.upmformi.com 

Through the renewing of the bio and forest industries, UPM is building a sustainable future across six business areas: UPM Biorefining, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Paper Asia, UPM Paper ENA and UPM Plywood. Our products are made of renewable raw materials and are recyclable. We serve our customers worldwide. The group employs around 19,600 people and its annual sales are approximately EUR 10 billion. UPM shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. UPM - The Biofore Company - www.upm.com

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About Tongji University
Tongji University is one of the leading universities in China under direct administration of Ministry of Education. With a history of over a century, Tongji has valued the balanced development of four functions, i.e. education, research, outreach, and culture inheritance and innovation. The university now covers 10 broad categories of academic disciplines, including engineering, science, medicine, management, economics, philosophy, literature, law, education and arts.

In 2010, Tongji University cooperated with Aalto University and established "Tongji-Aalto Design Factory" and "Tongji University Sino-Finnish Center", which have become a world-famous internationalized, cross-disciplinary and open innovation platform through integrating design creativity, science and technology and economic management discipline with "design thinking". Currently, College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, has become one of the most internationally renowned colleges of design, ranking among the world's leading design institutions.

Tongji University: https://en.tongji.edu.cn/
Tongji University College of Design and Innovation: http://tjdi.tongji.edu.cn/?lang=en