Situated in the centre of Tampere, Finland, P-Hämppi meets all the requirements set by users for an underground parking facility with regard to usability and convenience. In 2012, upon its completion, P-Hämppi received the EPA Award in the category of best new parking facilities, and the following year it was awarded for its lighting solution. Today, the result of collaboration between AINS Group’s rock and environmental engineering unit and Finnpark, which commissioned the work, offers parking spaces for more than 900 vehicles. All this space is freed up for other uses above ground in the centre of Tampere.
The P-Hämppi project is one of the largest ventures of its kind in Finnpark’s history. Now, five years after completion, the benefits to local residents have become evident.
‘The new parking facility has made it easier to run errands in the centre. It has also made space available for people rather than cars above ground. The volume of through traffic and parking on the roadside has decreased, and pedestrian and cycling routes have improved. Also, property companies are able to shift their property development focus as they can now procure parking spaces underground instead of having to allocate space and resources to building them,’ explains Finnpark’s property manager Pasi Nevalainen.
Motorists have been particularly happy with the usability offered by the facility. P-Hämppi has wide access routes for vehicles, with clearly separated pedestrian routes. This makes the facility safe and easy to navigate, with the lighting solutions ensuring that the surroundings are also pleasant.
Selecting a skilled design team is part of risk management
In 2006, Markku Hiltunen, then managing director of Finnpark until his retirement in 2014, was tasked with the realisation of P-Hämppi. The first step was to select a project design team consisting of underground engineering experts.
‘Designing and building an underground facility in a city centre so that it fits in with the existing structures constitutes a challenging, large-scale project. To manage the risks involved, we needed a skilled design team that understood the challenges and had the ability to meet them,’ Nevalainen stresses.
‘We opted for the rock and environmental engineering of AINS Group (formerly Saanio & Riekkola) because of their solid expertise, their high-quality partners, and their impressive experience with the Olkiluoto nuclear fuel repository, for example, that they brought to the table. In addition, Matti Kalliomäki is one of Finland’s leading underground space and rock quality experts,’ says Hiltunen.
I explained to the board of Finnpark that we needed the best design and excavation experts for the project. Those we found in AINS Group’s rock and environmental engineering unit.
Project design based on residents’ needs
As a publicly funded construction project, P-Hämppi was also subject to criticism, mainly because of fears of increased pollution levels around the Pikku-Kakkonen playground.
‘We conducted pollution measurements and solved the problem by excavating the car park from only one end, with the playground side used only for the exit. This increased the costs of the project by around 2 to 3 million euros,’ says Hiltunen.
The decision is an excellent illustration of the project’s inclusive planning process, in which the interests of all parties involved were taken into account, according to Hiltunen, who adds:
‘P-Hämppi involved 35 parties and all of them were heard. For the children using the playground, we made holes in the wall surrounding the worksite so that they could follow the goings-on. In addition, we took them, together with the media, to see the excavated tunnel. The children became P-Hämppi’s little construction managers.’
Meetings were held with the residents of the nearby properties to discuss the potential pros and cons of the project.
‘In the end, we arrived at a solution where the housing companies have access to the parking facility via their own lifts. They have proved useful to the residents,’ explains Hiltunen.
- Parking spaces for 900 vehicles
- Volume 200,000 m3
- Costs 70 million euros E
- Built in 2008–2012
- The 2013 EPA European Parking Award, the Lighting Project of the Year 2013 Award and the 2012 Pirkanmaan Y-teko Award in civil engineering
- AINS Group was responsible for the project’s architectural design and principal designer services, rock engineering and HVAC design.
Success in the P-Hämppi project is the result of meticulous and systematic work processes.