The manufacture of elements for the largest wooden block of flats in Europe was an unprecedented endeavour by Koskisen Houses. The project has exceeded expectations and, except for a few final deliveries, is nearly finished.
According to Koskisen Oy’s Production Director Taito Toiviainen, the Kivistö wooden residential building has been very challenging in many ways. The number of elements has been astonishingly high, and transporting the massive elements from the plant to the construction site has presented challenges of its own. The elements are processed to a considerable extent at the plant, and include, for example, through-holes, wooden cladding and balcony doors. This speeds up the remaining on-site construction.
“The technical aspects of the work have gone very smoothly. We have been able to stay on schedule and are even a bit ahead of it,” says a pleased Toiviainen.
The project has progressed without any work accidents, and a lot of learning has taken place at the plant. Although Toiviainen says the planning schedule has been challenging right from the start, it nevertheless did not affect the completion of the project.
For young engineers Eero Kahilaniemi, Lasse Tapaninen and Olli Kervinen, assembling the elements for Europe’s largest wooden building marked their first job as Koskisen employees.
“It was a great way to see all of the work stages, from start to finish. A lot of manual labour is involved in putting the massive elements together for the Kivistö project. It’s a much bigger job than for smaller elements,” says Tapaninen.
The engineers say that it was hard to picture at the plant where the individual wooden elements would fit into the final puzzle, but after a visit to the Kivistö construction site, they saw that the end result turned out beautifully. The trio are currently working at Koskisen Houses as structural engineering interns and hopefully will be involved in planning future historical building projects.
Kivistö’s massive wooden building has created a buzz even outside of Finland, and the construction site has received a lot of visitors.
“One of the things that has most amazed foreigners is the huge weather protection tent that was raised as the construction work progressed,” says Site Manager Matti Mäkitalo from the construction company Rakennusliike Reponen.
This is the first wooden block of flats that Mäkitalo has helped build, and he says collaboration with Koskisen has been excellent.
“The schedule has been challenging, but we have learned a lot along the way. The wooden elements are now being installed at a much faster pace than they were early on in the project,” he says.