Green Distrticts

Example sites help envision wood construction

The district of Mellunkylä includes areas of Vesala, Kontula, Kivikko, Mellunmäki and Kurkimäki. In the Helsinki Innovation Districts the possibilities and challenges of wood construction are being explored by using four example sites from Mellunkylä. These are: a future residential area of “Wood-Kivikko” envisioned between the Kivikko park area and Kontula centre; Mellunkylä Avenue located between the Kontula and Mellunmäki metro stations; the southern part of Länsimäentie; and Kontulankaari. These example sites will help elaborate what kind of solutions could work in different parts of Mellunkylä.

In Mellunkylä, the majority of urban infill will be carried out on existing plots. Urban infill can also be an opportunity for housing companies to finance extensive renovations by tapping into their permitted building volume. The urban infill can include repair, demolition and supplementary construction. Carbon neutral urban infill could be carried out in the form of new wooden buildings or wood-structured additional floors to existing blocks of flats, for example.

“It is important to increase both contractors’ and housing companies’ interest towards carbon neutral urban infill while looking for appealing, cost-effective and feasible solutions in collaboration with residents. We want to encourage companies to develop carbon neutral solutions for a variety of residential areas,” says Project Coordinator Petra Turtiainen from Forum Virium Helsinki.

Photo: Vesa Laitinen

Developing new wood construction solutions with design sprints

The development of carbon neutral wood construction was promoted with a set of three different design sprints, each lasting for two days. The participants included experts from various fields who are interested in wood construction and the Mellunkylä area, from architects to house manufacturers and from developers to urban renewal and urban development experts. Design sprint is  a product development method originally developed by Google that Forum Virium Helsinki has adopted to infrastructure projects..

The topics of the three design sprints were the possibilities and challenges of innovative wood construction, cost-effective and high-quality wooden blocks of flats and services for sustainable and carbon neutral living.

The purpose of the design sprints was to help produce ideas for the development of ecologically sustainable and innovative suburban areas. The aim is to increase shared understanding for the purpose of increasing wood construction and building dialogue with companies in the sector. The invited participants were given the task of developing cost-effective and feasible solutions, from carbon neutral area development concepts to wooden house concepts and a model library of standard residential blocks.

The solutions and ideas developed in the workshops can also be utilised in other developing areas in the Helsinki region and the rest of Finland.