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Urpo Karesniemi: A Designer Inspired by Structural Puzzles

Urpo Karesniemi is among the 1,700 experts working at Sitowise, one of the largest planning and consulting agencies in the construction industry in Finland.

Back in the late seventies, Urpo Karesniemi first studied theoretical mathematics and physics at the University of Helsinki.

“But I soon realized that I am a bit more practically oriented. I couldn’t see myself working only with theoretical formulas for the rest of my life.”

As Karesniemi found his inspiration from more hands-on work, he applied to the Helsinki University of Technology, or Aalto University as it’s called today.

“As soon as I had plodded through the basic courses, structural design started to fascinate me. Solving structural puzzles makes the work inspiring – and so far, we have always found a solution to the challenges,” he says.

A prime example of this is the Lauttasaari Shopping Centre in Helsinki.

“Designed in 2015 to utilize the DELTABEAM® Frame, it has a couple of specialties. When you cannot use a standard solution, you have to think things over and see if you could use some other nearby structures to your benefit, that’s really interesting. For example, in the Lauttasaari project we suspended one floor from above to get the specified floor thickness.”

On using Peikko Designer®

Karesniemi says that calculating manually is often time-consuming as the most use cases are very complex.

“Peikko Designer® makes dimensioning for example WELDA® anchor plates short work. And when working with multi-story columns, it’s easy to check if they can be erected without additional on-site propping.”

For Karesniemi, one of the most important benefits of Peikko Designer® is the full documentation.

“You can check the loads quickly if you need to alter or add something to the connection. Adding Peikko specific details to your design is also a breeze”, he points out.

What lies in the future of structural design?

From his vantage point, Urpo Karesniemi sees the further emergence of composite solutions.

“It is a no-brainer as with composites you can fine-tune the properties to suit both structural and business demands. For example, in wooden multi-story buildings, it’s a good idea to use steel and concrete in places.”

Repairing buildings is also on the rise.

“It makes perfect sense to repair existing buildings to lengthen their life span as long as there is both financial and functional sense in it.

He has no clear favorites when it comes to materials.

“I always use what’s best for the project. All the materials are familiar to me, although I have not designed a house using plastics. I know for a fact that there has been at least one experimental plastic building which was designed and built in Finland in the nineties,” Urpo Karesniemi chuckles.

Peikko Designer® PRO TIP

“If you are a beginner Peikko Designer® user doing your first designs with it, it’s a good practice to double check your calculations manually so that you can be sure that you have understood the software logic correctly.”

When not designing larger buildings, Urpo Karesniemi enjoys smaller structural challenges at his summer house.


Read more about Peikko Designer and other Peikko's tools for Designers.