A condition survey guides the planning and implementation of repair investments at Porvoo Hospital

The approximately 40,000-square-metre building stock of Porvoo Hospital was subjected to a comprehensive condition survey and real estate valuation in autumn 2019. The aim was to obtain information on the condition of the buildings for the planning of the coming repairs and possible new construction.

Sweco has a framework agreement with HUS Kiinteistöt (HUS Real Estate Ltd) on condition surveys performed across the metropolitan area. One of the hospital sites of the last few years was Porvoo Hospital, which functions as the emergency hospital for almost 100,000 people in the Eastern Uusimaa region. The condition survey of the hospital buildings was initiated by HUS Facilities Center, the real estate owner. 

“The majority of the building stock of about 40,000 square metres was built during 1966–68, which means that the buildings are more than 50 years old and have had time to develop needs for repair,” says HUS Kiinteistöt’s project manager, consultant Esa Wallin. Sweco implemented a condition survey and real estate valuation of the hospital area in autumn 2019. The aim was to obtain primary information on the condition and repair needs of the different building parts for decision-making. “A further objective was to compare the costs of repairs and new construction,” Wallin says. 

One of the biggest challenges of the condition survey was the tremendous size of the area and the versatility of the buildings. ”The building stock has been extended in several stages at least in 1986, 1991 and 2008,” Sweco’s condition surveyor Sanna Pohjola says. Every building has several floors and underground facilities. “A lot of building systems and different structural solutions were also investigated.” 

Risk sections examined through opening of structures 

The condition survey concerned both structures and building systems. At first, a structural engineering risk assessment was performed, in which likely damage areas were assessed. This was followed by a moisture mapping. 

“We looked for moisture marks, discolouration, cracks and abnormal odours through sensory inspection, and performed structure openings based on these observations,” Pohjola says. The airtightness of the structures was measured with the tracer gas method, and air content measurements were performed on the ventilation system. 

The condition survey also included exposure condition assessment at various facilities. ”The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health has drawn up a 1–4 scale for the assessment of workspaces, with exposure classes ranging from unlikely to very likely,” Pohjola explains. “The assessment was performed on different floors and parts of the buildings, as the conditions varied highly due to different structure types.” 

Uncomplicated cooperation in an operational hospital 

The massive condition survey was performed by eight Sweco experts on topics such as structural engineering, ventilation and electrical systems and cost accounting. “The condition survey took more than 1,100 working hours and was implemented in the midst of the turbulence of a hospital operating around the clock,” Pohjola says. 

Wallin from HUS Kiinteistöt was responsible for informing the users generally. Thereafter, it was the surveyors’ turn to inform the different units. “Information was a success, and the amount of feedback received from the users has actually been lower than normal.” 

The surveyors share the view about the good cooperation atmosphere. “It was in everybody’s interest to survey the facilities, and we did feel welcome,” Pohjola reports. Access to different spaces was easily settled with the users. “One cannot simply walk into an operating room, after all.” 

The data presented in the massive condition survey report of over 900 pages and its annexes will be used in the planning and implementation of Porvoo Hospital’s coming repair investments. “The survey has already been utilised in the implementation of acute repairs,” says Wallin.