This is published under the terms of CC-BY.
The rise of wooden multistory construction (WMC) in the Nordic countries has turned out to be the most evident construction-related new business opportunity in the emerging bioeconomy. Based on earlier literature, the future growth prospects for the rise of WMC are rooted in the concerns regarding environmental issues, as witnessed in a plethora of studies focusing on carbon footprinting. But do new (performance-based) regulations ‘favor’ WMC or do they give a more ‘just’ comparison of alternative building concepts? Therefore, more information is needed on the role of growing environmental awareness and preferences for wood as a renewable and recyclable material in the markets. Our paper presents results from a two-round Delphi study focusing on the relative strength and perceived interplay between likelihood and the desirability of environmental concerns in driving WMC in Finland and Sweden. Using qualitative analysis of expert interviews in the first Delphi round, the issues related to sustainable development appear to have growing importance in the marketplace. However, the panelists perceive that the emphasis on sustainability is mainly driven by the changing regulation reflecting societal needs, and only few experts saw it as echoing directly from changing individual consumer needs. In the second Delphi round, implemented with an online survey, the likelihood and desirability of sustainability as a megatrend in housing was perceived to gain further impetus toward 2030, both in the form of consumer demand for sustainable living and wood construction as a modern way of living. However, future research is needed to get a better understanding on the strength and scope of these drivers.