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Apartment building’s facade renovation in Leppävaara


As Oy Leppärinne’s facade renovation (Espoo)


Condition survey and the architectural and structural planning and building control of a facade renovation


2017 (condition survey), 2018–2020 (facade renovation)

Apartment building’s facade renovation contributes to the preservation of old Leppävaara

As Oy Leppärinne is the third oldest apartment building in Leppävaara, Espoo. The facade of the building, which was completed in the early 1960s, was renewed in keeping with the original spirit of the building. The living comfort of residents was also improved at the same time with new windows and balcony glazing. 

Completed in 1963, As Oy Leppärinne is the third oldest apartment building in Leppävaara. The building’s load-bearing frame is made of lightweight concrete and the facade is plastered, as was the style in the 60s. The building’s structures, particularly the poorly insulated roof, had been strained by winter temperature fluctuations. 

“We had problems with freezing drainpipes before the roof was provided with additional insulation. The plaster had fallen into disrepair, with chippings falling down on the street,” says Reijo Loponen, the chairman of the housing company’s board. The housing company did not want to apply plaster mesh to the building. “A facade renovation was the only option.” 

Sweco experts carried out a condition survey on the building, which confirmed the housing company’s suspicions: the plaster was poorly adhered to its base. Next came the architectural and structural planning of the facade renovation. “When the right things are taken into consideration in the planning phase, a facade can last decades without having to be replaced,” says Project Manager Janne Luhtamäki from Sweco. 

A cost-effective window renovation carried out in conjunction 

The housing company decided to also have a window renovation carried out in conjunction with the facade renovation. “Doing so made sense financially, as they both involved a lot of the same structures,” Luhtamäki says. 

One of the aims of the window renovation was to improve living comfort. The original wooden double-glazed windows were causing drafts in the apartments, and the old linseed oil paint was starting to peel. “We replaced them with durable, triple-glazed aluminium windows,” Loponen says. 

One of the project’s building control requirements was the use of traditional three-coat plaster on the facade. The balconies’ red sills typical of the 60s also had to be preserved. However, that did not prevent the balconies from being outfitted with new railings and glazing. “Glazing makes balconies more comfortable and protects structures from moisture, significantly increasing their service life,” Luhtamäki says. 

On the roof, the project included repairs on the eaves and the dismantling of an old, redundant oil heating chimney. In addition to this, all of the building’s seven stairwells were renovated. “The wall and floor surfaces were renewed, but the spirit of the 60s was preserved in the colour palette,” Luhtamäki says. “This was a way of honouring the property as one of the oldest apartment buildings in Leppävaara.” 

Renovation completed faster than expected 

The facade renovation was completed ahead of schedule in autumn 2020. “The renovation went much faster than we expected, and there were no major surprises along the way,” Loponen says. The planned concrete block seam repairs were not needed, and the old plaster came off easily as well. 

Luhtamäki, too, is happy with the speed and good spirit of the project. “The most important things were effective communication and open collaboration between the client, planners and contractor.”