We built a day care centre during the summer holidays


In Vantaa’s Vapaala, a day care centre was built over the summer, carefully designed to meet the wishes of the users in terms of functionality and safety. The frame of the building is made of steel cell modules that were transported from the factory ready made.

In mid August, some finishing work was underway and the yard was asphalted. “This building went up very quickly during the summer. When we went on holiday, the new building only had a gravel base and foundations on the site,” says Nina Palenius, the director of the day care centre.

When the new building was being designed, the opinions of the future users were also sought. “We had the opportunity to comment on the colour scheme, for example, and we wanted the building to have a nature-oriented look and a multi-purpose use of the facilities. In the new building, the children’s groups have their own living areas with their own colours and furniture in the same colour. We also got carpet mats, which are nice for the children to play on. They are easy to clean now,” says Palenius.

The best thing about the finished building, according to Palenius, are the open windows. “I’m sure we couldn’t have hoped for that. We have already received a lot of positive feedback from the staff about the windows and the good acoustics.

From the outset, building with steel cells seemed a modern option to Palenius. “They are the way of the future. We had great confidence from the start that Vantaa’s builders would be able to choose professional contractors. When we saw the plans, the exterior immediately looked good and the safety aspects had also been taken into account.

Steel and air

Fixcel’s standard module is an all-steel cell. “The cells are made of steel and air. This is a factor in energy efficiency, air is a good insulator,” says Tomi Vittaniemi, Fixcel’s Business Development Director.

The modules are finished at the factory and can then be easily lifted and transported to the construction site. “For example, a standard five-hundred-tonne crane can lift the cell to a height of about 45 metres. This gives flexibility to the installation work because you don’t have to be right next to it. The module is really strong, so you can stack them in many layers”.

In general, Vittaniemi says, it is often very challenging to assemble modules in several layers. “There are also fire classification issues to consider. For us, these are always built into the modules. In our standard solution, two 15.5 millimetre fire-resistant gypsum boards are installed inside the steel cell, both on the walls and on the roof. And on the floor there is a plaster moulding with a water-cooled underfloor heating system. This will enable the structure to be built to fire class P1.

Durable, healthy buildings

The benefits of steel-framed buildings are clear when you take a long-term view of construction. In general, steel construction makes it easier to achieve adaptability. Steel cell modules offer even greater ease of modification over the life cycle. Buildings that quickly appear on site are often temporary solutions. Instead, Fixcel steel cell modules are also used to create permanent buildings that offer the same quality to the user as those built on site.

Vittaniemi points out that if a building has a planned lifespan of at least 100 years, it is likely to have many different uses. “That’s the whole idea of what we do. We can deliver the right type of building, in the right place, at the right time. And we can change its use and location as needs change.