Växjö's new municipal and station house takes height and shape
Four study visits per week. Yes, it is the current average for Växjö's new municipal and station house that creates great interest throughout the country. Tony Söderena at Vöfab tells us that it is almost fully booked until the Christmas holidays.
– Both municipal people and contractors are interested in how to build wooden houses in this large dimension. And receiving study visits is a matter of course for us, because we are happy to spread the knowledge. Of course, building wood is a challenge, but it is also developing. There are many benefits to the working environment. For example, listen to how calm it is. No noise from saws in concrete. And feel the aroma of the tree. It is like being back in the woodwork at school.
– For us at Skanska, it is a very exciting project where we continuously develop our excellence in wood building. We are seeing a growing interest in wood construction throughout Sweden and Europe. Among other things, we have a French film team that will soon visit us, so this building really helps put Växjö on the European map.
Another thing that has attracted great attention and curiosity is the giant tent that covers the construction site. According to Tony, it is probably Europe's largest tent construction.
– It was a brave decision that proved to be very successful. I have worked as a plumber in various workplaces since the 1980s and have never been to a drier construction site. Usually, it always drips and water accumulations are formed.
The tent protects the construction site from rain, snow and wind. It provides both a better work environment and quality benefits.
– The wooden frame is made in Austria, transported by train to Alvesta and the last piece of truck is driven here to Växjö. It unloads under the tent and stays dry all the time, which gives a higher quality. The tent has also optimized the construction process. We can start working earlier on installations, interior walls and painting. This saves us a lot of time.
Construction of Växjö's new municipal and station houses took place in the spring of 2018. Moving in will take place in the spring of 2021. The construction is now entering an intensive phase of fitting the wooden frame and installations of technology.
– There is an incredible amount of technology in such a project. But only a fraction is visible. Most of the technology is hidden in technology rooms in various places, mainly in the basement, and then further up through the house, Hans-Fredrik says.
How many people work daily at the construction site?
– At present, about 100 employees are present, of which about 60 are professional employees, i.e. carpenters, concrete workers, fitters and so on. But the number will increase this autumn as we intensify the construction. At most, we will have between 150 and 200 employees.
Such a large workplace with many people in motion places great demands on safety. At seven o'clock each morning, there is a safety briefing and information on what is happening in the workplace. Since some staffs are English speaking, morning meetings are conducted in both Swedish and English.
– We also run extra safety rounds and safety visits, some planned, others carried out without warning. We also have staff with specialist expertise in place, including a health and safety manager.
Hans-Fredrik and Tony describe the construction process as a teamwork where it is important to listen to everyone's views and respect each other.
– In a project of this size and complexity, it is not possible to walk around and squeal, It must be humble, prestigious and solve the problems together in close cooperation.
The basement floor is almost finished and now the other six floors are being built. Plan two is to accommodate a station, restaurant square, shops, waiting areas and what will be a living room.
– It will be Växjö's new meeting point with a large flow of people, Tony says.
Plan three will include a tourist office and the municipal hall's reception. Plan four to seven will then become office space for the municipality with 600 workplaces. In total, the house will have an area of 16,400 square meters. The building will be environmentally certified in the highest class (gold). Hans-Fredrik and Tony show the roof at a height of 35 meters and point to the roof surface.
– The entire surface up here will be equipped with solar cells.
The size, design and the large elements of wood and glass as well as the fact that it is an environment that many people will pass through and stay in make the new municipal and station house a very special building. Hans-Fredrik and Tony are proud to be involved in such a project.
– It is a house that gives a wow feeling. When everything is done, I will definitely pass by the building with the kids and point proudly at it, says Tony.