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Familiar cooperation partners provided synergy benefits in the pipeline renovation of Kaarikuja 5 

Familiar cooperation partners provided synergy benefits in the pipeline renovation of Kaarikuja 5

Housing company Kaarikuja 5 is one of the 1960s’ apartment buildings located in the vicinity of the Kontula shopping centre. Sweco carried out the planning, project management and supervision of the housing company’s pipeline renovation in collaboration with familiar cooperation partners. 

As Oy Kaarikuja 5 was completed in 1967, as were many of the other apartment buildings located on the same street. The over-50-year-old housing company comprising 8 floors and 144 apartments commissioned Sweco for the project and implementation planning, project management and supervision of its pipeline renovation. 

“It is important for us that the entire team is fully committed to the project; we’re all in it together,” says Marko Ivanoff, the deputy chairman of the housing company’s board. The benefits of a major engineering company became apparent during the pipeline renovation. ”Sweco’s operations are characterised by customer orientation, ease of service, expertise and availability. Our questions were always answered.” 

The building’s property manager Aki Hahle from Kontulan Huolto Oy also highlights the expertise of the planners as one of the most important prerequisites for a successful pipeline renovation. It is part of the job of planners and project management to serve as partners to housing company boards and property managers. “This also includes being open about any problems and seeking solutions to them together.” 

The only major hitch at Kaarikuja occurred in the early stages of implementation planning, when the property’s water supply pipe broke down. “We reacted quickly and renewed the property connections and yard pipelines as a separate contract before the start of the pipeline renovation,” says Principal Designer Dennis Murto from Sweco. 

Sweco’s experts also looked into the possibilities of carrying out additional construction on the housing company’s leased plot. “The cost pressure is high in many housing companies, with companies often turning to denser construction or handing over parts of their plots for additional construction,” Murto states. 

A regular pipeline renovation saves 5–10% of energy 

The scope of the pipeline renovation was planned in close cooperation with the housing company, with small adjustments implemented as necessary. The housing comfort of residents was improved through the addition of bicycle and dog washing stations and the surface renovation of stairwells, among other measures. 

“We chose solutions that were modern, yet in line with the spirit of the housing company,” Murto says. In addition to this, all four of the housing company’s saunas were renovated, and the number of cold cellar stores was reduced, which affects the housing company’s energy efficiency. Even a regular pipeline renovation provides energy savings. “The modernisation of HVACE systems and water fittings saves 5–10% of energy.” 

The housing company was pleased that the total costs of the renovation remained within the budget and that the renovation even resulted in some savings. “However, the most important thing is honesty all along the line,” Ivanoff emphasises. “We received sensible and, when necessary, even bold suggestions from the planners. That which was promised was also carried out.” 

Kaarikuja pipeline renovations carried out with a familiar crew 

Sweco, Kontulan Huolto and contractor LVI-Trio also carried out the pipeline renovation of Kaarikuja 1 around the same time. Carrying out multiple projects in the same residential area provided synergy benefits. “Carrying out pipeline renovations with the same crew means that everyone is familiar with how everyone operates. The interaction between operators has been very smooth,” Murto states. 

“On Kaarikuja, you could even talk about joint projects or at least an effective collaboration model!” Hahle adds. In his opinion, the projects remained under control exceptionally well. “The best end result is achieved by working together right from the start. After all, pipeline renovations are always carried out by people, not machines.” 

Hahle also emphasises the importance of good personnel choices. “When it comes to pipeline renovations, it is essential to find a good project manager, supervisors and site foreman. As regards Kaarikuja, I’ve also been very pleased with the way in which Sweco’s supervisors and project management have kept the housing company informed of the progress of the project.” 

“We are very happy with the overall project management and partnership, as both a housing company and as residents!” Ivanoff states.