The development of Pioneeripuisto, the area of the 2019 housing fair, is one of the key projects for the City of Kouvola. AINS Group infrastructure experts are participating in Pioneeripuisto’s transformation into an attractive residential district where new housing blends in with the old buildings and street and water supply networks are built around the existing infrastructure to protect the culturally and historically valuable built environment.
The housing district will rise in the historical and idyllic area of the Koria garrison. The main challenge faced by the designers is to blend the new development with the old buildings and infrastructure in terms of both style and technology. AINS Group infrastructure engineers were responsible for the design of transport, street, water supply and sewage systems and geotechnical engineering, along with the design of a bridge to be built in the area.
‘The AINS Group geotechnical engineers performed soil investigations and prepared reports to enable us to figure out how best to realise the project. The differences in altitude and the clayey soil, which are typical characteristics of the region, had to be taken into account in the infrastructural engineering,’ explains Antti Nyberg, property development manager for the City of Kouvola.
‘With regard to the water supply and sewage operations, we stipulated that not a single property would have to pump waste water. The area had an existing pumping station and its altitude determined the drain locations. Pipes had to be installed deep down in order to ensure a sufficient gradient. Therefore, we had to excavate deep into the ground, particularly near the pumping station, which resulted in the need for sturdy support solutions. In this area, we relied on AINS Group’s geotechnical expertise. We could be certain that the support structures designed by them were sufficiently robust,’ says Mikko Tiainen, design engineer of the water company Kouvolan vesi.
The district’s history and character were preserved in the design and realisation of the new infrastructure. The bridge and special structure unit at AINS Group prepared a renovation plan for a historic steel bridge in the area.
The existing houses and other properties set certain restrictions on the pipe system gradients. With the expertise that AINS Group brought to the project, the area’s drain system could be designed to allow all the properties to join the gravity drainage network.
‘The area is home to a large number of people who have lived here for a long time. For example, the renovation of the historic bridge, which was transported to the area as war loot from Karelia, was important to the older residents and history enthusiasts. It was great to witness their reactions on the completion of the project and talk to them about it,’ explains Nyberg, who is pleased with the outcome.
Feasibility of the designs put to the test at the construction stage
The feasibility of the designs prepared by AINS Group was put to the test during the construction of the housing fair area. A design project is a success when the outcome is feasible plans that can be completed on schedule and that produce functional systems without the need for major changes during construction.
‘AINS Group’s expert design work is reflected in the extremely low number of questions and unclear points that had to be resolved during construction. Building work is quicker and easier when no nasty surprises crop up,’ explains Nyberg.
Suunnittelun onnistuminen mitataan myös kustannuspuolella, ja tässä infrahankkeessa on pysytty alkuperäisessä budjetissa. Maaperätutkimuksissa ilmeni tarvetta ylimääräiselle kaivantosuunnittelulle, mutta muita kustannuksia kasvattavia lisätöitä ei juurikaan ole tullut. Siitä tietää, että suunnitteluvaihe on sujunut hyvin.
Good team spirit gives a boost to the project
AINS Group and the City of Kouvola forged an excellent collaboration relationship during the framework agreement period, which later evolved into true partnership.
‘Personally, I appreciate the care they took in preparing for meetings. They always came to the design meetings prepared with thought-through options and clear presentations, which was a great help in decision-making. We always received quick replies to our emails,’ explains Tiainen.
‘I look forward to working on new projects with AINS Group, as I know they can offer all the know-how and help we need,’ stresses Nyberg.
Our collaboration is unique in that it is not a traditional client-supplier relationship. We all sit on the same side of the table, and if any challenges crop up we solve them together. The excellent team spirit is a resource that gives a boost to the project as a whole.