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Extending the Hospital Area in Meilahti

The Meilahti area in Helsinki is the largest hospital area in Finland. The area has its own internal street and traffic network with traffic signs, a helipad, large parking areas, a bus stop and a large network of underground tunnels and underground parking facilities.

The Development of the Hospital Area

The hospital district has decided to develop the Meilahti hospital area and concentrate health care operations there. A new land use plan has been drafted for the area which enables the extensive construction. This requires that service traffic and parking has to be moved from its current location underground.

The development of the Meilahti area requires the expansion of underground construction. Underground construction in the area include: the extension of the tunnel network, service area, waste station, and pharmacy storage. There will also be a new underground parking lot and bomb shelter.

A 1 km long access tunnel will run across the area and the new underground facilities will be placed along the tunnel. The parking lot will have parking space for 450 cars and one of the halls will also function as a bomb shelter for 2,400 people. All laundry, mail, waste, medicine, and goods transport and maintenance will be placed underground. Elevators will lead from the servicing areas to the logistics tunnels underground.

Waste disposal area will be so large that it can house over 20 different waste containers. Most of the waste will be dropped from the service level through the 5 waste chutes to the new waste station. The construction will increase the storage area so much that the modern storage area has to be located into the rock underneath the current pharmacy. The extending of the activities in the hospital area increases the space needed for storage that additional space in rock cavern is a necessity.

Construction

The total volume of new underground facilities is ca. 250,000 m³. Construction will take place in 2009-2013.  The rock excavation at the area will take over two years to complete and the interior construction will take an additional two years to finish.

The project is large and challenging in many aspects. Patient care and the sensitive hospital equipment set considerable restrictions for construction. 19 different shafts from the underground facilities will be constructed to the surface at different locations on the area. The simultaneous construction of several projects in a densely built area requires careful coordination and cooperation between different parties.

The estimated cost of the underground facilities is 70 million euros.