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Quantity surveying and cost accounting support the circular economy of Keran Hallit demolition project

The former logistics centre of Inex Partners in Kera, Espoo will be demolished in two stages. The aim is to recycle as much of the demolished materials as possible, which is why information provided by Sweco’s quantity surveying and cost accounting experts was needed to start the project.

Inex Partners, the logistics operator of the S Group, had a large logistics centre in Kera, Espoo, for more than 50 years. When the operations moved to Sipoo in 2019, diverse temporary operations were started at Keran Hallit, while the planning of the demolition stages was also started. The objective of the City of Espoo is to develop Kera as a pioneering area of sustainable urban development, which means that the sustainable development goals are also highlighted in the demolition project.

“The City, the area’s landowners and the developers are all committed to the common development goals and, for example, the Green Deal of sustainable demolition,” saysMari Pitkäaho, the real estate asset manager of SOK Real Estate. “We are also hoping that the halls’ demolition materials could be utilised as extensively and versatilely as possible.”

The S Group has ambitious targets for the sustainability of its properties. In addition to energy-efficiency and carbon footprint assessments during use, the reviews are starting to include the impacts of the construction stage. “This is why we are interested in getting experience on how to recycle materials and construction components.”

Kerahallit kustannus- ja määrälaskenta

Quantity surveying supports the circular economy of demolition

In 2019, Sweco’s experts of cost accounting and quantity surveying carried out a demolition material quantity surveys for Keran Hallit. This was an exceptionally extensive project: the mass to be demolished equalled about nine apartment buildings, 94,000 gross square meters in two blocks in total.

“The hall area also covers a yard of about 210,000 square meters that has more than 388,000 tonnes of asphalt and about 200,000 tonnes of different soil matter that need to be removed,” says Antti Minkkinen, Sweco’s cost accounting expert. Quantity surveying can be a useful tool to support circular economy in demolition projects.

Most of the initial data was provided by the demolition plan, the reports of detrimental materials, and photographs. “If necessary, we can also use inventory modelling to help us with quantity surveying,” Minkkinen says.

Material volume reflected on demolition costs

In 2020, Sweco’s experts moved onto the cost accounting of the demolition project. As with quantities, the cost estimates were also given in tonnes so that the material volume could be taken into account. It affects things such as transport capacity and landfill fees.

“The capacity needed for crushed concrete is quite different than the capacity needed for insulation,” Minkkinen says. Higher demand for transport is reflected both in the costs and in the carbon footprint of the demolition project.

The demolition of the whole area could not be priced simply based on the volume of the buildings. Some of them were tall hall structures with column and beam frames while others were multi-storey office buildings. “The halls have fairly few structures compared to their volume while offices have quite many,” Minkkinen states.

The building regulations of different eras were also taken into consideration. “Asbestos and detrimental material demolition is always more expensive than regular demolition,” says Aila Vaahtera, Sweco’s quantity expert. Another special feature of Keran Hallit are the cold storage facilities, which demolition sites rarely have.

The cost estimate was updated for the land use agreement negotiations a few years after the initial calculations. Pitkäaho considers it understandable that the cost estimate was a little higher than the actual costs of the implemented first stage of the demolition project. The first stage mostly included fairly simple hall spaces without any cold storage facilities or underground structures, for example. “Updating the estimate and reviewing the project background succeeded well and flexibly even within a tight schedule.”

Recycling moves towards the reuse of construction elements

The first stage of the Keran Hallit demolition project, covering about 30,000 square meters, was completed in summer 2022. It comprised a wide range of different materials from brick and wooden walls to a metal profile frame. “We were able to recycle more than 4,000 tonnes of steel and 72,000 tonnes of concrete,” Minkkinen says.

About a third of all crushed concrete will be used in the area’s municipal engineering projects. “It replaces virgin crushed stone and reduces transport emissions, as transport distances can become quite long in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area,” Pitkäaho says. Some complete building components, such as sheet metal elements, were also recovered. “We are hoping that some new ways of reusing components have been discovered by the time the second demolition stage starts in autumn 2025.”

Construction in the Kera Area will start in 2023. The area will become a model example of a sustainable city district that offers a home to about 14,000 city residents.

Picture: Sweco
Picture of Kera Hall: Mari Pitkäaho

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