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Street of Ratapiha in Tampere

Construction company

Jatke Pirkanmaa Oy

Investor

A. Ahlström Real Estate Ltd

Sweco’s lines of business involved in the project

Sweco Impact, Sweco Structures, Sweco Building Service Systems, Sweco MP

Permitted building volume on the site

12,000 floor square metres

Schedule

2019–2023

Decent work and economic growth
Sustainable cities and communities

Sustainable investment office block also serves changing needs in Tampere

The real estate project on Ratapihankatu street in Tampere is an important addition to the cityscape. Sweco has been involved in the project development phase to ensure that the contractual, quality and environmental aspects of the project serve the goals of the users and the real estate investor.

By 2023, a modern office building based on the principles of sustainable development will be completed in the historical Ratapihankatu block in Tampere. At the same time, the protected cargo station building and the railway workers’ residential building will be renovated for new uses that serve the city residents. The project will be a visible complement to the central cityscape of Tampere.

“As a long-term investor, we had already been looking for commercial premises in Tampere for a long time. The location in Ratapihankatu, right next door to both the main railway and the new tramway, the high-quality future office with an environmental certificate as well as a good main tenant meet the investment criteria perfectly,” says Pia Lindborg, Director, Real Estate, of A. Ahlström Real Estate Ltd, the investment partner in the project.

The project named GO21 ended up in the investment portfolio of A. Ahlström via the plot assignment and concept competition of the City of Tampere. After the original partner of the competition winner Jatke Pirkanmaa Oy withdrew from the project, Jatke gained a new investor in Ahlström, which had placed second.

Setting quality criteria as the basis of a successful project

Because the Ratapihankatu project had originally been already negotiated with another investor, Ahlström was offered a fairly ready-made package. However, it was important for Ahlström to add quality requirements to the traditional turnkey contract.

“We wanted a partner to ensure that we can get as good quality as possible with the money we invest and that the project will remain within the budget and on schedule,” Lindborg says.

Sweco Impact’s team joined in to carry out a due diligence inspection on the project. The team reviewed the contracts related to the project and revised them together with legal advisers to serve Ahlström’s financial and commercial interests. At the same time, it made sure that the risks were managed better. Sweco also edited quality documents for the new building.

“The schedule was tight, because we had to make sure the main tenant’s contract and the City’s decision-making would progress smoothly,” says Sweco’s Director of Project Development Kim Karves.
Being able to focus on the right things was critical for the project’s progress.

“Finding the right level of detail for the documentation and identifying the things that really matter was crucial. Having a genuinely constructive dialogue between the partners was also important,” Lindborg says.

Environmental responsibility and adaptability serve the end user

From the start, the project has been guided by the principles of sustainable development. The environmental responsibility goals are ambitious: The aim is for the new building to achieve the highest level of the LEED environmental certification, Platinum. As for the interiors, the aim is to gain a WELL certification that focuses on the health and well-being of the building’s end users.

Sweco’s role was to work on the table of points awarded to be drawn up based on the environmental certificate, so that the building could be constructed not just with high quality, but also taking environmental issues and life cycle economy into account.

“The new version of LEED Platinum requires more from the building than the previous one, but the real estate owners should still pay careful attention when the characteristics of the real estate are specified. The premises and technical characteristics must be designed with future needs in mind when it comes to taking cyclists and electric charging into account,” Karves says.

Another factor strongly guiding the project is adaptability. Lindborg says that the site’s main tenant, Gofore Plc from Tampere, has a strong vision on future premises that also act as a competitive factor.

“One reason why this is such an extremely interesting project is that we’ve reached a turning point when it comes to premises. People are now thinking about the role of premises in the future. We share the same vision with the end user that adaptability is one of the major trends.”

“The work of most office workers has changed radically during the last year, and now it seems to be commonly understood that the work environment will never be the same. Really, it would be pretty terrible if we built premises now and in two years nobody wanted to work there anymore,” Karves sums up.