Entire office building going up inside Turku shipyard hangar
Building to be transported intact to final location
By Marja Salmela
An unusual construction project is taking place at the STX shipyard in Turku. Inside the large shipyard hangar, Neapo Oy is assembling an entire office building.
The three-storey structure is 12 metres tall, 33 metres long and 12 metres wide. The construction was started in December, and when it is completed before Midsummer, the entire building will be transported to the nearby island of Hirvensalo.
The building’s frame is a sturdy but lightweight steel cell construction. The building weighs 220 tonnes.
“As the work is being done indoors, weather and the seasons do not cause problems with dampness”, says Olli Vuola, CEO of Neapo, who adds that it is easier to stay on schedule this way.
Another similar project in the planning stages is the construction of a five-storey residential building in Myllypuro in the east of Helsinki.
The method is not new, but it is now being used for the first time for the construction of residential buildings on land. Previously shipyard halls have been used for the assembly of passenger cabins for luxury cruise ships.
House factories have also assembled entire detached houses that are then sent to their final locations.
Neapo, which has developed a new prefab construction method, has made a child day care centre out of 20 large elements in 2009. The units were manufactured at the company’s factory in Uusikaupunki and transported by road to Hämeenlinna.
Later this year Neapo will build 53 apartments for VAV, the municipal housing company of Vantaa, to be set up in Tikkurila.
All of the apartments will be units of 30 square metres, which will be transported separately to Viertola from Tampere. The building is to house people who currently have no place of residence of their own.
“In this way the construction time will be considerably shorter. The risk of problems caused by dampness is reduced when the parts are assembled indoors”, says Teija Ojankoski, CEO of VAV.
The next multi-storey buildings are to be ordered by TA-Asunnot, which builds rental apartments right-of-occupancy housing. They will be assembled near the Myllypuro Metro station in the east of Helsinki.
“As the houses can be erected more quickly than usual, the people in the area are disturbed as little as possible”, says CEO Ilkka Joenperä of TA-Asunnot.
The building is assembled on site from ready-made two, and three-room apartments. The front of the building will be plastered in such a way that the seams are not visible.
Both VAV and TA-Asunnot want to try the new method because they are having difficulties getting offers for construction projects form construction companies, and if they do get an offer, the prices are very high. “Perhaps we might bring the constantly rising price level under control this way”, Ojankoski and Joenperä hope.
CEO Vuola hopes that the business might bring work to shipbuilders and metalworkers who have been left unemployed by the decline of the shipbuilding industry.
“Now we can bring work to where it has been taken away”, Vuola says.
Helsingin Sanomat / First published in print 25.5.2011
Previously in HS International Edition:
Crisis in shipbuilding industry threatens to engulf Turku region (14.10.2010)
STX Turku yard receives order for special cargo vessel (24.3.2001)
MARJA SALMELA / Helsingin Sanomat