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Ranuan LEED-sertifioitu hyvinvointikeskus edistää terveyttä myös luonnon voimalla

Ranua’s LEED-certified wellness centre promotes health in a natural way

For almost a year, residents of Ranua have been enjoying the healthy and safe premises of their new wellness centre. Sweco’s designers handled the HVAC, electrical, telecommunication and safety design of the site that has been granted the LEED Gold environmental certificate.

A special characteristic of the Ranua wellness centre is its size of only 2,000 square metres. The compact premises hold all the services of a modern health centre from laboratories to an in-patient ward and X-ray rooms. The successful result achieved the Gold level of the LEED environmental certification, even though the project that cost some 7.9 million euros was completed under budget.

“Ranua’s wellness centre attained the Gold level in the certification with a v4 Healthcare system, which is an exceptional achievement, at least in Finland,” says Nina Komu, Project Manager of HVAC Engineering at Sweco. The v4 classification is more challenging than the previous versions. “Also, the classification system for health care buildings is quite rare for the moment.”

Customer safety first

The design of health care facilities always requires knowledge of cleanliness and hygiene classifications, but the designers also wanted to focus on customer well-being. The indoor air class S2 achieved in ventilation design was higher than average.

“Instead of a single ventilation unit for the premises, each zone has a unit of its own, which means that the conditions in the in-patient ward, for example, can be easily adjusted as necessary,” Komu explains. Targeted extraction in various rooms was taken into account, along with vacuum and overpressure. Green alternatives were used as the refrigerants for the cooling equipment.

The users were able to influence the design choices, which focused on finding a balance between safety and sustainability. “For hygienic reasons, touch-free taps were selected for the laboratories, but in other areas, such as the kitchen, water-conserving equipment and water fittings were the focus.”

The electrical, telecommunication and security design, too, placed an emphasis on user safety. “In addition to the nurse call system, we designed the burglar and fire alarm systems for the premises as well as the camera surveillance and access control for indoor and outdoor areas,” says Tapio Mehtälä, Project Manager of Electrical Engineering at Sweco.

Energy-efficient and sustainable overall solutions

The most significant energy savings were achieved through energy-efficient lighting and ventilation equipment.

“The entire lighting arrangement consists of LED fixtures that are connected to the lighting control system,” Mehtälä says. “The lighting can be adjusted flexibly in the various rooms and areas, and it can be reprogrammed entirely as purposes of use change.”

Thanks to LEED, a comprehensive electricity metering plan was created for the site. “The aim is to verify electricity consumption in the various areas from the kitchen to the dental clinic,” Mehtälä describes. The supply of electricity is backed up with an auxiliary power system as well as a UPS for uninterrupted power supply. “The LEED focus also led to the installation of the municipality’s first electric vehicle charging point in the wellness centre yard!”

Extra points for an environmental approach

Among other strengths, the wellness centre gained LEED points for the cycling opportunities, outdoor recreation areas and vistas. Thanks to the large windows, even patients in bed rest can see outside all the way to the lake nearby. Even though comprehensive public transport services are impossible in a small municipality, Ranua’s values are in the right place in terms of ecology and well-being.

“We were able to leave most of the site in a natural state, which is exceedingly difficult in larger cities,” Komu says. The reception areas of the wellness centre are located in two floors, but the in-patient ward is in a separate single-storey wing. “Long-term patients and seniors can independently take walks and spend time in the recreational areas and garden, which features benches and accessible routes.”

Stormwater detention was implemented with an environmentally sound solution. “Instead of using sets of plastic cartridges, stormwater is detained by means of aggregate fields, which were constructed using excavation materials from the same area. This meant that it wasn’t necessary to haul soil from one place to another,” Komu says.

Image: Sipark Oy