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Building Information Modeling/ Virtual Design & Construction
At the Ultuna Campus in Uppsala, Sweden, Skanska has been commissioned by the Akademiska Hus property company to build a veterinary and domestic animal center, abbreviated in Swedish to VHC. The new center is wide-ranging and complex construction project that covers joint facilities for the university’s animal hospital and for the faculty of veterinary medicine and domestic animal science.
A total of 1.5 million hours has been devoted to planning, project engineering, production and project management.
VHC covers 53,000 square meters distributed among six buildings. Activities at the buildings may be distributed among three main groups: research, education and animal care.
The main entrance is located in the educational section, which, with its glass façade, offers a modern and exciting impression. On the interior, the educational facilities have wide-open spaces and a good deal of shared spaces. This is also the location for laboratories and writing rooms, leading thoughts to creativity and flexibility.
The university’s animal facility is located behind the circle-shaped educational section. Here, the glass surfaces are somewhat less and the atmosphere more subdued. The objective is that the animals feel secure. The west section of the building houses modern stables. Each year, the university animal hospital treats about 7,000 horses and 27,000 small animals.
VHC is permeated by flexibility and openness. This is the site that will provide research with the scope to develop into the future. During spring 2014, the building will be ready for occupation. Students attending at animal education courses provided by SLU (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) will start at VHC during the autumn term of 2014. VHC will be a workplace for some 600 people and 1,000 students.
Martin HussSkanska Sweden+46 10 44 86 136
Mejl Martin Huss
Verksamhetsgren: Commercial development
Marknadssegment: Laboratories, Scientific facilities, Animal healthcare, Research, Higher education
One of the goals is that VHC will be operationally economic, with low energy consumption. Consequently, we have had a green focus from the very beginning.
Together with the customer, we have worked actively with the selection of products, technology systems and energy-effective solutions. The goal is to achieve “Silver” level in the Swedish Green Building Council certification system.
Among other cooperative projects, we have worked with the Swedish organization and database “Byggvarubedömningen” (Environmental Evaluation of Building Projects), to assess materials from an environmental viewpoint.
In its interior, VHC is equipped with occupancy sensors that regulate light, cooling and heat, making it easy to control energy consumption on the basis of requirements.
When the basement floors were excavated, some of the excavation material was stored near the construction site, and was later reused. This allowed us to save resources and be a little kinder to the environment.
In spring 2010, Skanska received an inquiry from the Akademiska Hus property company regarding a partnership for the construction of VHC, the Veterinary and Domestic Animal Center, in Uppsala. We submitted a tender and, following detailed evaluations and interviews with the project’s key people, we were chosen to co-work in the project engineering stage. In September of the same year, we concluded a contract agreement with the Akademiska Hus property company.
In October 2010, we set up operations and turned the first sod. We excavated about 80,000 cubic meters of soil, corresponding to some 32 Olympic swimming pools, from the basement floor.
During the piling work, we used 2,500 concrete piles. Putting all these piles in a row would correspond to a length of about fifty kilometers.
Work on the building frame began in April 2011. The greatest challenge was the circular educational section to which the other buildings are connected. Constructing a circular building requires extra adaptions and much more setting-out work.
The outer walls consist of prefabricated concrete frames with a finely polished surface of white concrete. The façade is dominated by large glass surfaces.
Overall, VHC consists of six buildings, linked by a shared main transport corridor. The work on the buildings was conducted in parallel and completed at various dates.
The most eye-catching building is the educational section that is built on four floors, with a basement.
Two anatomical theaters have been built in the research building for the dissection of animals. The model is the anatomical theater that was built during the 1600s at Gustavianum in Uppsala.
The theaters have a semi-circular form with steep viewing stands. The students stand and look down on the lecturer dissecting the animal. It is a challenge to build circular buildings, but our joiners managed it brilliantly.
In the hospital section, we have built four operating rooms for large animals with accompanying rooms for observation. A horse weighs 600 kg, in other words, it is impossible to lift it or move it on an examining table.
We have created an ingenious construction, featuring steel beams in the roof. A hammock is connected to a lift and then it possible to move the animal between the operating room, observation room and other premises.
The design of the building must cope with heavy weights. Also, it must have a high ceiling to allow, for example, the lifting of a horse.
Another challenge is the number of installations. There are pipes for water, sewage, sprinklers, large channels for ventilation, medial gases and a good deal more. We have been actively engaged in project engineering and provided our opinions for better bearing capacity.
We have also built seven small operating theaters, a radiology room, MR room and X-ray computed tomography and small animal clinics, in addition to many other facilities.
Safety has been the most important issue throughout the project. Among other things, we have had a safety officer who has worked full time with safety issues and the working environment. At morning meetings, the safety officer has outlined the risks ahead during the day and special aspects that employees should keep in mind. In addition, safety rounds were conducted each week.
Apart from Skanska’s obligatory safety introduction, in this project we have followed this up with more extensive information a few weeks later. This involved more intensive discussions regarding our behavior, meaning how our actions affect safety.
The final phase of the project entails changes to suit tenants, paving, work with greenery and other features in the local environment. In spring 2014, the building will be ready for occupancy. Students at SLU (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) involved in animal courses will start at VHC in the autumn of 2014.
The project in figures:
• 2,500 concrete piles.
• 100,000 meters of tubing.
• 24,000 meters of channelization.
• 350,000 meters of telecommunication cable.
• 175,000 meters of installation cable.
• 23 000 meters of power cable.
• 9,000 light fittings.
• 2,319 rooms.
• More than 3,000 doors.
• 1.5 million working hours.