Monday, December 19, 2011

Something concrete

Yesterday I met a nice Dutch lady (meeting a nice Dutch isn't the news, I think I've met only nice Dutch people). She was the mom of the family where my friend was staying during her exchange student year. I ended up talking about concrete with the Dutch exchange mom. Precast concrete, to be more precise. And why did we have this concrete conversation? Well, because considering the size of the population and the size of the construction market, both Finland and Netherlands are world's top countries in using precast concrete elements. At least that's what they taught us in the university, and my experiences at work are supporting the claim.

A nice precast concrete building in the Netherlands 

I don't know for sure what's Holland's excuse to use that much of precast elements in the construction, but at least in Finland the top three reasons have been the unfavorable weather, high labor costs and migration from countryside to cities in the 60's.

In the beginning of the 60's the population of the capital area was a bit above 500 000, and by the end of 60's it was nearly 700 000. I may be exaggerating a bit, but still, the population increased by one third during a decade! So they needed to build. A lot. Fast. In the construction boom of the late 60's and early 70's some of the concrete block houses were designed to last for 30 years only. They were not designed to go through the putkiremontti, they were not designed to go through the facade renovation - which makes the renovation really expensive today, and even after the renovation end result may not fulfill the requirements of the 21st century.

So, what shall we do with Merihaka? Any concrete suggestions?

Näytä Concrete block houses suuremmalla kartalla

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