WELFARE CENTRE   

Espit was responsible for the HVAC renovation of the service housing wing of the Puumala Social and Health Care Centre, which was carried out in three phases between 2021 and 2023.

HVAC RENOVATION OF THE PUUMALA WELFARE CENTRE

Espit has contracted HVAC solutions not only for households, but also for municipal buildings and industrial plants. What was exceptional about the Puumala welfare centre project was its duration. The project, for which Espit was responsible, involved the renovation of a wing building housing service apartments and associated group spaces over a three-year period.

The building was completed as a health centre in 1974. Some of the facilities of the municipal social and health centre, including the central kitchen and doctors’ reception rooms, had been renovated earlier. The original building services systems in the service apartments and the adjoining group spaces were in need of a thorough modernisation at the start of the project.

The project highlighted the need for interaction between the builders and the users of the facilities. Although the occupants of the residential rooms being renovated were temporarily relocated, the rest of the building continued to operate as normal.

The repair was carried out in three phases. The total area was about 2200m2, and the engine room on the roof was also replaced. A further challenge was that the water, sewerage, heating and ventilation systems had to work continuously. The only exceptions were short breaks agreed in advance with the staff and scheduled in advance.

In addition to professional skills, situational awareness was required

The renovations were carried out almost continuously from 2021 to 2023. Espit’s CEO Esa Pitkonen was the project manager for the project.

– We were responsible for heating, water, sewerage, ventilation, cooling, sprinkler and automation contracts. We had experienced building services technicians from Espit on site. In addition to professional skills, we needed situational sensitivity. During the various stages of the work, the contractors had to pay particular attention to public safety inside the building and in the yard, where staff and elderly people were constantly moving around.

According to Pitkonen, the most critical phase was the replacement of the engine room and ventilation machine on the roof, which was completed in 24 hours.

– The contractor first demolished the waterproofing of an area of about 50 square meters. The old ventilation machine was removed and replaced by a new 1700 kg machine. For this phase of the work, a heavy-duty crane was needed on site, which at the same time blocked traffic in front of the entrance to the service apartments. Again, this was done to a tight schedule and required stretching by all parties.

In a long project, a lot of equipment was also installed, for example:

  • 1500 m of water pipe
  • 300 m of sewerage pipe
  • 950 m ventilation ducts
  • 37 VRF cooling indoor units

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