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As Oy Puistola in Ullanlinna


Pipeline renovation of As Oy Puistola Tehtaankatu 5 (Helsinki)


Designing a pipeline renovation, incl. HVAC design and structural engineering, as well as project management and supervision


49 flats and 3 business premises

History and the wishes of the shareholders were honoured in the pipeline renovation of a residential block of flats that is over 100 years old

The housing company on Tehtaankatu street turned one hundred years old in 2009, which makes it one of the most stunning and valuable residential blocks of flats in Ullanlinna, Helsinki. This was already the second pipeline renovation in the housing company, and the building and its residents were honoured in its implementation all the way from design to supervision. 

The housing company As Oy Puistola Tehtaankatu 5 is located in Ullanlinna, Helsinki. The Art Nouveau building that was completed in 1909 had already undergone one pipeline renovation, and the second one started in 2016 as a part of systematic maintenance of the property. 

“For the shareholders a pipeline renovation can feel like they’ve gone through the wars, but once it’s over, there will be no more expensive water damage or other surprises, and the water consumption is reduced,” the housing company’s property manager Ari Friman from REIM Isännöinti Oy says. Thanks to the pipeline renovation, the housing company’s insurance premium has decreased and the insurance coverage has improved. “The residents can also breathe easier when the wet areas, among others, have been renovated and the value of the building in general has been restored.” 

The history is tangibly present 

Sweco was responsible for the project and implementation planning, project management and supervision of the pipeline renovation. In Friman’s opinion, the overall responsibility did not create conflict; instead, the experts laid their cards on the table. “It’s just simply amazing that even now during the guarantee period, there’s a massive amount of well-preserved documents and pictures of the pipeline renovation available.” 

An extensive pipeline renovation was carried out in the housing company; it included the renovation of bathrooms, balancing the heating network as well as telecommunications and electrical work, such as a new entryphone system. “We also did a lot of surveys related to making the ventilation more efficient and opened up replacement air channels that had been closed off in the 1970s; locating them took a bit of detective work,” Sweco’s Project Manager Panu Lallukka says. 

Meanwhile, the original building facade was maintained. “We also protected the stairwells, and despite the new technology, they were kept the same as before,” Lallukka says. In fact, history is tangibly present in Tehtaankatu street. The flats have valuable tiled stoves, and Risto Leka, the grandchild of master builder Wilho Lekman who participated in the construction of the building, still lives in the housing company. “We also aim to honour the living tradition of the family.” 

Unique flats require plenty of structural engineering 

The building is more than 100 years old, it has plenty of structural layers and the layouts of all flats have changed many times. For example, wet areas have been added to places that originally had none. “The flats differ from each other a lot, which is why each of the 49 flats and 3 business premises was examined and repaired individually,” Lallukka says. 

The shareholders’ wishes were also taken into account during the pipeline renovation and extensive shareholder-specific changes were made, such as separating rooms that had previously been combined and combining separated areas. Steam saunas were also built into flats. In fact, there was more structural engineering involved than on average. “When load-bearing structures were changed, many of the old intermediate floor solutions also changed; in the spirit of their time, things like rail track girders had been used there.” 

Even though the project as a whole was challenging, the pipeline renovation was completed in a controlled way and within budget. In fact, the property manager Ari Friman gives full marks for the planning and supervision. “There were active young experts involved who supported each other’s competence and investigated things more extensively in the big building, if necessary.” 

The housing company has also thanked and praised the implementation. “We haven’t received a single piece of negative feedback; instead, the pipeline renovation received a very good grade at the general meeting of shareholders. From a technical and financial perspective, everything went perfectly,” Friman says. “Here’s another thing that speaks of how satisfied the housing company was: they arranged a thank-you lunch for the Project Manager at the end of the project!”