Real estate investment company Sponda Plc is developing an attractive, bright and modern retail complex in one of the best spots in the central business district of Helsinki.
The heart of the Citycenter complex, with its light shaft, and the office building have reached roof height, and the topping out ceremony was held on the site on October 21, 2010.
The current construction phase, due to end in autumn 2011, will see the completion of the office block leased to Evli Bank Plc in the inner court of the complex and of the light shaft that brings natural light to all the floors of the shopping center, with the retail premises around it. Altogether 3,700 m² of new retail premises on four floors and 4,200 m² of office space are being built in this phase. In the whole project the leasable area in Citycenter will rise from the 41,000 m² it contains at present to 55,000 m².
This construction phase got underway in November 2009 and has made good progress on schedule in the challenging environment of the central business area. Construction work in a busy pedestrian area and in a property that is in active use poses additional challenges to a building site. The Citycenter retail premises are serving customers and access for pedestrians through the complex is being guaranteed throughout the building project.
Citycenter, known as Makkaratalo (the sausage building) and designed by Viljo Revell in the 1960s, represents the concrete architecture of that time. As part of the project, Sponda is improving the energy efficiency of the retail property with modern technical building systems, for example by replacing the ventilation equipment and heating system and connecting the building to the district cooling system.
First LED-lit office block in Finland
In the construction of the office block being erected in the middle of the complex, particular attention has been paid to energy efficiency and environmentally benign solutions. The lighting of the office premises is with energy-efficient LED lights. The use of LED technology on such a large scale in office buildings is rare in the Nordic countries. The lights were supplied by GreenLUX Finland Oy and, according to Roope Ropponen, the company's Sales and Marketing Director, this is the first office building in Finland to have all the open plan offices in this scale lit by energy-efficient LED lights.
Other ways to improve the energy efficiency of the office building include heat recovery from the ventilation system, separate regulation of ventilation for each floor and thermally efficient glass structures. District cooling is used for cooling and district heat for heating the building. When finished the office building will join Sponda's energy efficiency scheme, in which Sponda works with its clients to find energy savings.
Sponda is aiming to obtain LEED certification for the office building, which is one of the best known international environmental classification systems for buildings. LEED classification aims at reducing the environmental impact during the construction and use of a building and developing a healthier work environment.