HUSLAB – a successful project on many fronts

HUSLAB is more than just a laboratory building. Completed in June 2015, the new facilities bring advancements and efficiencies to the Finnish laboratory operations. For SRV, the builder, HUSLAB means new innovations in the construction sector, the culmination of decades of customer collaboration, and a career milestone for one specific builder.

Despite the tight schedule, the demands imposed by the specialised facilities and the challenging location, Huslab was completed about one month ahead of schedule to provide laboratory services for HUS and the healthcare centres in the Uusimaa municipalities. SRV was responsible for the project management, the construction and technical building systems work, and the implementation planning guidance for the work that started in spring 2013.

The work at the brand-new HUSLAB never stops. The laboratory operates around the clock, analysing millions of samples that are sent annually from the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa. Huslab’s operations were previously scattered around Helsinki. The lab spaces were becoming cramped and they no longer met the full requirements for modifiability and research efficiency. “The lab employees were working in eight different facilities; it was important to get them under the same roof. The new HUSLAB building has been designed specifically for laboratory work, so the laboratory operates smoothly and efficiently, the level of automation can be increased, and ergonomic factors can be taken into account better. Also, the premises are flexible and can be modified in the future for changing needs,” HUSLAB’s Managing Director Piia Aarnisalo describes the importance of the new premises.


Challenges spark innovations

For SRV, HUSLAB was an opportunity to prove itself. The new facilities were being built adjacent to a building that was in service, and the construction site couldn’t disrupt the access of the 21,000 people working in the area. The excavation work, for example, had to take into consideration the sensitivities of the thousands of medical devices. In fact, the challenges sparked new innovations. “We took the sensitivity of the environment into account by using a completely new method for dust removal and excavation technique in the excavation phase,” says Production Director Antti Raunemaa.

The intended use of the building and the laboratories with their clean rooms meant a lot of demanding work on the technical building systems. “The cleanliness standards for interior surfaces are at the highest possible level, and the technical building and equipment systems are comparable in part to hospital facilities. This meant the utmost attention to detail in all work phases,” Raunemaa continues.

Despite the challenges, the project was a huge success. “Even with the short implementation schedule, the project was completed ahead of its schedule. Additionally, the project was completed with a zero-error acceptance, which is a truly special accomplishment,” notes Teppo Salmikivi, Director of Properties of the Center for Properties and Facilities at the University of Helsinki.

The project was special also for Antti Raunemaa. “This is an important milestone in my building career: this is the first zero-error delivery for me. The 18-year collaboration with the University of Helsinki culminated with this 20th project, and we finally achieved what we have pursued,” Raunemaa says.

In many ways, the project is also a culmination of SRV’s role in society. “We don’t build buildings; we build premises for people to live and work in: work places, schools, homes. Our mission is to improve the quality of life through sustainable solutions for the built environment. HUSLAB is a great example of a project in which we have built a better future for Finnish healthcare,” says SRV’s Juha Toimela, SVP, Operations in Finland.