Excavation work in the Laakso Hospital area is on the final stretch — the site holds a “tarring ceremony”  

Excavation work in the Laakso Joint Hospital project is on the final stretch. The project involves unusual underground work — excavation has been effectively coordinated with sensitive hospital operations.

Kolme henkilöä tervaa kiveä kolmen harjan kanssa.
Päätervaajat hommissa. Vasemmalta apulaispormestari Daniel Sazonov Helsingin kaupungin sosiaali-, terveys- ja pelastustoimialalta, Koy Laakson yhteissairaalan hallituksen puheenjohtaja Sari Hildén sekä HUSin toimitusjohtaja Matti Bergendahl

The Laakso Joint Hospital project is one of the largest hospital projects carried out in Finland.  In addition to the hospital, the project involves a significant amount of underground work and tunnel excavation — technical hospital facilities, a car park with 550 spaces and a logistics tunnel connecting the Meilahti and Laakso hospital areas are being implemented underground. 

The project has focused heavily on ensuring safety. The project has been recognized for these efforts — the underground site came in first place in the construction site category of the Uusimaa Occupational Safety competition.

“This is one of Finland’s largest hospital projects — and it is also SRV’s largest ongoing infrastructure project and the largest underground construction site in Finland. We’re pleased with how the project team of the Laakso Joint Hospital project has performed,” says Heikki Pöyhönen, Director, Infrastructure Construction at SRV Infra. 

Tunnel excavation in the Laakso area is on the final stretch. To celebrate this, the site held a tarring ceremony on Friday, 7 June 2024. This is a traditional ceremony held when excavation work has reached its deepest point.

Excavation in a demanding hospital environment

The proximity of hospitals and challenging underground urban conditions called for high-precision design and robust professional skills from the alliance team. The blasting times have been agreed with the hospitals and communicated to their functions through separately agreed means. For example, the blasting time window and its use were agreed very precisely with HUS laboratories. 

More than 450,000 cubic meters of stone have been excavated in the hospital area to date — this corresponds more or less to the volume of four Parliament Buildings. Of this amount, 260,000 cubic meters have been excavated from underground facilities. In total, over 50,000 gross square meters of underground premises will be constructed.

“Tunnel excavation has even been ahead of schedule. The excavation phase is almost complete — another factor that increased the challenge level was that for half a year the infrastructure work has been carried out while the construction of the main building frame has been in progress. This simultaneous work has required effective management of the supply chain and an up-to-date situational picture, as the sites use the same access routes, for instance. Coordinating blasting and concreting work has required close cooperation,” says Janne Paajanen, Project Manager in charge of infrastructure work at SRV. 

Hospital operations will be started up gradually in 2027

The Laakso Joint Hospital alliance will continue its construction work in the Laakso Hospital area until 2030. A new main building will be erected, about five times larger than the Oodi Central Library, with space for 772 patients. Hospital operations in the new and renovated buildings will be started up in phases from 2027 onwards. The construction project also includes the implementation of a new forensic psychiatry building in Ohkola, Mäntsälä. 

The project is implemented under an alliance model. The infrastructure work is carried out by an infrastructure subcontract alliance formed by SRV Infra Ltd and Destia. SRV is responsible for underground parking and maintenance facilities for the Laakso Hospital area. In addition, SRV is excavating a logistics tunnel measuring around 800 meters to connect the Meilahti and Laakso hospital areas. Destia Ltd is implementing aboveground excavation, foundation works and concrete tunnels for road tunnel entrances, among others.