In 2021 started the construction work of a new upper secondary school building of the Helsinki School of Natural Sciences located in Kumpula Campus, Finland. The school building will be opened in time for the 2023 autumn term, and it will be a safe, healthy, and adaptable learning environment built with an environmentally friendly hybrid frame solution.
The new five-storey building of Kumpula Campus will have a gross area of approximately 5,400 square meters. The school is owned by Helsinki University Properties Ltd., and it will meet the needs of 900 students as part of the university campus. The main constructor is SRV, and the project is carried out as a cooperative project management contract. During the development phase, the parties worked together to find the implementation solutions that would best meet the project’s objectives.
Locating the new building on the university’s Kumpula Campus will enable the upper secondary school to make efficient shared use of both its new premises and the university’s existing premises. Building partially shared spaces will create a wide range of opportunities for both studying natural sciences and creating a greater sense of community on campus. Users have been involved in the project from the outset to create a foundation for innovation and achieve the best possible results.
Arkkitehdit AFKS are responsible for the architectural design of the school, and Quattroservices Oy for its technical building systems. Puurakentajat Oy is responsible for erecting the wooden frame of the building together with CLT slabs by Stora Enso, glue-laminated beams by Versowood, and Peikko’s DELTABEAM®, a slim-floor solution composite beam.
Slim floors and superior benefits with DELTABEAM®
DELTABEAM® Composite Beam allows combining renewable and ecological timber with two of the strongest materials, steel and concrete. DELTABEAM® is an excellent solution for creating a slim floor structure with timber slabs, which is generally not possible for traditional timber structures on long spans. Typically, the DELTABEAM® timber composite solution reduces total floor thickness between 10 to 30 percent.
DELTABEAM® composite action between concrete and steel allows long spans that create open spaces with minimum columns. The beams are integrated in the slabs, which guarantees architectural freedom. Smooth ceilings enable additional room height and easier technical installations. Additionally, fireproofing is already integrated into DELTABEAM®, eliminating the need for a complex fire painting on-site.
One of the most significant impacts of DELTABEAM® is how it contributes to making buildings more sustainable through its ability to make floors slimmer. Slim floor buildings require less cladding for the same usable interior volume, which in turn reduces heating and cooling energy consumption. Moreover, the reinforcement inside the beam ensures integrated and non-toxic fireproofing, which offers additional savings and improves the safety of the building.
Hybrid frame enables optimal outcomes
In addition to being an ideal solution for open flexible spaces, the hybrid frame structure combining steel, timber and concrete was chosen for the Kumpula Campus project because of the environmental reasons. Hybrid frame enables lower CO2 emissions both during the construction phase and throughout the building’s lifecycle.
The hybrid frame structure brings out the best properties of each material and is an ideal solution for schools, office buildings and public buildings that require flexible open spaces. Kumpula Campus building does not have any load-bearing dividing walls and only two reinforced staircases. Flexible hybrid structure allows for changing the use of the building during its lifecycle, which makes the lifecycle longer and the total investment more cost-efficient. The use of timber makes the building more environmentally friendly during the building’s entire lifecycle. Puurakentajat already has experience in similar structures building the daycare centers of Verkkosaari and Hopealaakso in Helsinki.
Pilot project for standardized connections
Kumpula Campus project performs as a pilot project for Peikko’s PUUCO® Timber Connections. PUUCO® product family is a new range of standardized connections that enable connecting timber and concrete seamlessly and reliably in large and heavy structures. Kumpula project piloted
- RAMCO® hidden corbels (modified) to connect DELTABEAMs® and glue-laminated beams
- BRAMCO® beam shoes to connect glue-laminated beams
- ROOCO® column shoes that are a modular connection to keep the cross-sections, and
- TICCO® wall shoes that connect CLT walls to foundations or to lower floors.
“At the very beginning of Kumpula project, Peikko did not yet have the standardized connections today known as PUUCO® Timber Connections. The project-specific connections were designed in collaboration with Sweco and tested by Eurofins to ensure their safety and load-bearing capacities. These connections are now part of PUUCO® product family, which will be developed further to make these connections easy to install also in timber factory”, said Vuokko Pussinen, Project Manager at Peikko Finland.
“The lack of standardized connections has been one of the main challenges of hybrid construction. Peikko’s PUUCO® Timber Connections are a big leap towards more harmonized, fast, and smooth way of building. From the assembly point of view, standardized connections speed up the sitework and ease the design work”, commented Ilkka Honkonen, Site Foreman at Puurakentajat.
As hybrid structures keep growing in size and popularity, Peikko aims at creating an entire ecosystem of products that support each other for the optimal, hybrid outcome. This is also how PUUCO® product family was born. The new industry innovations lead way towards a more sustainable and economical way of building.
Together towards a greener future
Throughout the construction project, a good communication and active collaboration between all the parties has been essential. This way the major setbacks were avoided, and the project is moving forward within the tight timetable.
“Since the project started, Peikko was actively in contact with Versowood to ensure that Peikko’s connecting items are in line with all the needed details of timber elements. This has been helpful in the assembly phase as well. Understanding the working methods and considering new ideas and proposals is important for our product development and made the project much smoother all the way”, explained Pussinen.
“It is important that all the parties of a construction project work together towards a common goal. More than materials, the solutions count. The increasing environmental requirements will surely strengthen the foothold of hybrid construction in the future, and the ways of building will evolve accordingly. The hybrid construction has come to stay”, said Honkonen.
Photos: Aatu Heikkonen / Inspiroiva Creative