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Progress of a renovation project
The planning stage of a normal renovation projects takes about three years, and construction around 18 months.
A renovation project starts with surveys
The renovation and refurbishment process starts with building condition surveys performed by professionals from different industries. The surveys will reveal what needs to be repaired. At the same time, we will also determine whether any other facilities need to be renovated or built in the area, and how much space is needed. It often makes sense to combine projects.
As the facilities are in use, the surveys must be timed to cause as little disturbance as possible to the users. Some structures can only be opened once the repair work has started and the users have left the facilities (which may reveal new repair needs that will affect the duration of the project).
Arranging competitive bidding for architects
The next step is a call for tenders to select the architects.
A rough plan of the renovation to be carried out will be prepared to be used as the basis of an indicative price estimate. Estimates of the scope and cost of measures will be compiled in a project plan unless the project is very small.
Moving to temporary facilities
As a rule, temporary facilities are provided for the duration of a renovation. The move will take place before the start of renovation only in special cases. The temporary facilities will be selected during the planning of the renovation.
Starting the repair project
After preparation, the renovation and construction will begin.
Projects can be monitored through decision-making
A single construction project involves numerous decisions that go through the city’s decision-making process.
A decision on requirements is needed for new building projects, extensions and operational changes. Requirement decisions are approved by the committee responsible for the use of the facilities – for example, decisions on schools and day-care centres are approved by the Education Committee.
The body that approves the project plan depends on the costs of the project. When the project costs:
- EUR 1 million at most, the decision is made by the head of the Urban Environment Division facilities service(Link leads to external service)
- EUR 5 million at most, the decision is made by the Urban Environment Division Buildings and Public Areas Sub-committee(Link leads to external service)
- between EUR 5 and 10 million, the decision is made by the City Board(Link leads to external service)
- more than EUR 10 million, the decision is made by the City Council(Link leads to external service).
Representatives of the users of the facilities are involved in the project planning to ensure that the facilities serve their needs as well as possible. For example, teachers are involved in the planning of projects on schools and nurses in projects on hospitals.
A building permit is required for new buildings and renovation projects. Sometimes the permit is accompanied by a right to start construction, meaning that the construction works may be started as soon as the permit is issued.
Decisions on building permits for all new public service buildings are made by the Urban Environment Committee’s Environment and Permits Sub-committee(Link leads to external service).
Neighbours will be consulted on the plans before making the building permit decision. ‘Neighbours’ usually refers to the owner of the adjacent property or the property across the street, i.e. the neighbouring housing companies in the case of a block of flats.
Activities are usually relocated to temporary facilities before a major renovation project. In the case of a planned and scheduled renovation project, the need for temporary facilities is known well in advance. Moving to temporary facilities quickly may also be necessary if water damage makes it impossible to continue the operations in the usual facilities, for example.
We will also look for temporary facilities if, based on condition survey results, the required extensive renovations would take too long and rapid action would not sufficiently improve the situation.
It can take anything between weeks to months to find temporary facilities, depending on whether all the activities or only some of them are to be relocated. The schedule also depends on whether suitable facilities are already available.
The possibility of relocating the activities to a different room within the same building or to another unit is explored first. The second option is using the city’s own suitable vacant facilities. If such are not available, leasing temporary facilities owned by parties other than the city will be explored. If such are not available either, the possibility of using movable facilities will be explored. Movable facilities with no running water or lavatories may also be an option in the case of a partial renovation.
In most cases, ready-made temporary facilities are not available, and the facilities will have to be planned and renovated to suit the needs. The movable facilities will be obtained from an external supplier. The most time-consuming steps in projects involving movable facilities include finding a suitable site, completing any required land use planning exemption process, arranging a competitive bidding on construction, obtaining a building permit, excavation and organising water, sewerage and electricity connections.