According to the RAKLI jury, Sponda is a forerunner in constructing adaptable and energy-efficient working environments.

Sponda has been elected the Developer of the Year 2015 by a jury consisting of property-sector representatives and construction clients. Sponda’s role as an innovator of product and service concepts that support their customers’ business operations was also commended.

“Sponda responds to the changing needs of its customers by refurbishing and upgrading existing premises or improving the buildings’ energy efficiency. The carbon footprint of Sponda’s buildings is reduced thanks to its systematic environmental programme,” says Ilpo Peltonen, Technical Director of RAKLI.

Hannu Hirvensalo and Veli-Pekka Tanhuanpää (centre) of Sponda, receiving the award diploma. The jury also noted Sponda’s long-standing commitment to building energy efficient and innovative properties.

In its new-build projects, Sponda keeps future changes in the use of a building continually in mind from the first planning stage, and aims to create versatile buildings with a long life-cycle. Sponda’s buildings are based on sustainable solutions.

“Spatial and energy efficiency reduce the costs of use, and the future needs related to energy and technology and new ways of working are anticipated in the planning wherever possible. The buildings are set naturally in their environment and the surrounding urban structure. They can be adapted according to the changing needs of the residents,” he adds.

“We design our new builds to adapt to future ways of working so that they can be flexibly remodelled as needed,” says Veli-Pekka Tanhuanpää, Sponda’s Senior Vice President for Property Development.

Awarded since 2007, the Developer of the Year is selected based on the organisation’s performance as an exemplary developer and actor in the field, and in adopting sustainable solutions, a high quality standard and innovation, among other criteria, as well as sector rotation.

“As a developer, Sponda is innovative and a highly proactive advocate for sustainable solutions in RAKLIs committee for property development and the Executive Group for commercial and public properties,” he says.

Exemplary energy efficiency

Even in times of budget restraints, Sponda has succeeded in building four major office buildings and launched the construction of a shopping centre based on the adaptability concept. These projects speak to Sponda’s long-term goals and sustainable operations, environmental and energy efficiency expertise and responsibility as a developer. Sponda is praised for its highly transparent reporting practices and its compliance with the contractor’s obligations to help eradicate shadow economy.

A good example of Sponda’ sustainable way of building new premises while preserving the old building stock and adding to the vibrancy of a city is the Ratina shopping centre in Tampere, to be opened in 2018. Two Functionalist buildings currently under renovation are being annexed with a three-storey new build.

“The cooling system in the Ratina shopping centre is based on cold water obtained from the natural body of water nearby, Tampereen suvanto. The project includes new energy solutions and versatile, easily adaptable spaces,” says Veli-Pekka Tanhuanpää, Sponda plc’s Senior Vice President for Property Development.

He is particularly proud of the office building Estradi, which won a LEED Platinum environmental certificate at the construction phase and which was completed in Lassila, Helsinki last year. The principal tenant in the new office building is Kone Hissit Oy.

“The building services at Estradi reduce energy consumption by optimising the cooling and heating,” says Tanhuanpää.

Similar technology is applied in the three office buildings in Ilmalanrinne, Helsinki, which were completed in December 2015. The principal tenant in the group of office buildings is Sweco, one of the largest construction consultancy companies in Finland.

“The property clearly exceeds the minimum requirements set for low-energy buildings. Although the cooling requirements for office construction have been steadily raised during the 2000s, we have been able to come up with solutions that always beat the energy targets. The energy efficiency of office buildings has been constantly improved and their environmental impact reduced,” says Tanhuanpää.