Helsinki’s newest landmark was an architectural challenge for its designers


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MEP Design

Company: Ramboll
Project: Helsinki Central Library Oodi
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Schedule: 2018
Client: City of Helsinki
Architect: ALA Architects
MagiCAD software: MagiCAD Piping, MagiCAD Ventilation and MagiCAD Sprinkler Designer for AutoCAD

Helsinki’s new central library Oodi, with its glass and steel structures and wooden facade, is the capital city’s newest landmark. In no time at all, it has quickly become a popular meeting place and event venue. The ultra-modern, energy efficient library is a showcase of architectural and engineering expertise.

Ramboll was responsible for the structural design, project management, MEP design, and maintenance manual coordination for the project. Hannu Martikainen, project director for HVAC engineering at Ramboll, was the project leader in building services engineering for the Oodi project.

An architectural challenge for the designers

The framework of the building is made up of two steel arches over 100 metres long. This steel bridge construction causes structural movement of exceptional magnitude, up to a maximum of 140mm, which had be taken into account in MEP design.

“The movement of the building’s steel bridge structure is extensive, depending on the season, temperature and the load on the building. This was reflected in the design of the building technology, which had to be implemented in an unusual way,” Hannu says.

“We used flexible connectors in all ducts and pipes, and we also had to design the drains with double slope. This meant we were able to ensure that as the building moves the minimum slope is maintained at all times,” Hannu continues.

Oodi’s third floor is clear of any visible MEP technology, which ensures there is no technical equipment to spoil the beautiful impression created by the spacious architecture and the undulating ceiling.

“The floor height of the second floor was raised to allow the ventilation and cooling systems with their ducts to be embedded in the space between the floors,” Hannu explains.

Designers placed their trust in MagiCAD

Ramboll used MagiCAD software in the MEP design for the Oodi project. In particular, MagiCAD’s calculation functions proved useful and helped verify the functionality of the systems designed.

“We utilised MagiCAD’s features related to flow technology, pressure loss calculation, ventilation duct flow technology and noise technology. Of course, we also used MagiCAD’s basic features to check and balance the networks. With MagiCAD, designers can reliably verify that the system is working as it should,” Hannu says.

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