Safety first on large fire restoration project in Finland

Polygon in Finland acquired Tehokuivaus Oy in the second quarter of 2019 to strengthen Finland in the area of water and fire restoration. The acquisition paid off. Soon after the acquisition Polygon got the huge assignment to restore Keskuskartano in Pori. Keskuskartano was the largest rental house in the Nordic countries when it was built in early 1960´s.

“Nationwide, this has been a significant fire worksite. But from our point of view, our work process proceeds in principle in the same way as in smaller fire damages, everything just happens on a larger scale”, says Sari Mäkitalo, Director at Tehokuivaus Oy.

The working conditions at the beginning of the project were very challenging. The upper floors of the building were still burning and burnt roof structures and coating materials were falling from the walls. Concrete structures were still extremely hot after the fire and risk of walls and roofs collapsing when working at 35 meters was a real risk. The area was protected by access tunnels and nets and all employees were ensured with safety harnesses. Due to the risk of collapse, a bome crane was needed for the demolition work.

“The height of the building brought its challenge here: it was difficult to find a crane big enough, and when using a crane, we had to agree with the air traffic control at a nearby airport on lifting times. It has been necessary to co-operate with many different parties in this area - even the streets had to be closed from time to time”, says Sari Mäkitalo.

“Our investments in occupational safety, health and risk assessment have paid off, as the number of accidents at work has been zero during our demanding project. For that I am particularly proud of, "says Sari Mäkitalo.

Polygon has been acting as the main contractor for the site during the necessary demolition and protection as well as reconstruction. The builder is Ramboll Finland Oy and the main designer is Küttner Architects. Astora-Rakennus Oy handles roof and facade contracting. The major job to restore the building and also bring the building to a technical modern level has been undergoing in almost one and half year. 

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