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Smart and customer-oriented hospitals – IHDA alliance takes Finnish hospital design excellence to Europe

Smart and customer-oriented hospitals – IHDA alliance takes Finnish hospital design excellence to Europe

29.8.2022 – Expert companies in Finnish hospital design and construction have jointly launched the Integrated Hospital Design Alliance (IHDA) project, which promotes the export of technically and functionally high-quality Finnish hospital design expertise to Europe.

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Internationally pioneering Finnish hospital design expertise is exported to Europe in an alliance that brings together healthcare experts and service designers, architects and main designers, HVAC designers, structural designers, and project management experts.

The Integrated Hospital Design Alliance (IHDA) project has involved the leading hospital design companies Granlund, AINS Group, Nordic Healthcare Group, AW2 architects and Integrated Healthcare Design. As new companies, Vison and K2S architects joined the project in August 2022. All companies have experience of significant hospital projects in Finland in the 2000s.

The aim of the IHDA project is to create awareness and interest in the technical and functional expertise of Finnish hospital design, which has been developed to an ultimate level during the Finnish hospital reform in 2010’s. The aim is also to offer Finnish expertise for the benefit of hospital construction and healthcare reform in Europe.

The complementary expertise of the alliance companies supports the comprehensive planning and construction of smart, customer-oriented, and functionally efficient hospitals from the first steps of the project to the commissioning and maintenance of the hospital facilities.

Functionality, healthiness, and collaboration as key export benefits

In Eastern European countries, for example, significant hospital projects lie ahead due to the need to reform the social and health care sector.

“Finnish hospital projects have actively solved challenges related to buildings, technology and healthcare needs. The new operating models, methods and technical solutions developed by us are useful in many European countries that are now facing the same challenges,” says Jukka Vasara, Executive Vice President of Granlund.

“The key figures and great achievements of Finnish healthcare are highly valued abroad and, on the other hand, Finnish design expertise and work ethic are also respected – this equation, when well packaged, turns into an attractive export product,” says Matti Anttila, Head of Division and Chief Designer of AW2 Architects.

One of the greatest strengths of Finnish hospital design is the focus on functional needs.

The methods of user-oriented design and the digital 3D and VR tools that support it are part of everyday life in Finnish healthcare projects, with which the premises are designed and dimensioned according to the needs of healthcare professionals and customers. Flexible solutions are also adjustable to meet the changing needs of the future.

“Good technical and operational planning can ensure both the smooth running of construction within the given budget and the customer- and user-oriented and economical nature of operations,” says Antti Alho, Director of Nordic Healthcare Group.

In Finland, the importance of cooperation between not only users and designers, but also the client, different design disciplines and builders, has been well understood. Currently, most significant hospital projects in Finland are developed through alliances, where all the design and construction parties work towards common goals in a common organisation.

“Open and efficient teamwork with the client and user organisation, as well as with the design and construction chain, is a key factor in the success of major projects. Our experience of cooperation in hospital construction is unique and a great export asset around the world,” says Jyrki Keinänen, CEO of AINS Group.

The healthiness and safety of the facilities also represent the global best in modern Finnish hospitals. Safety is considered in everything from the design of fire-fighting solutions to selection of non-toxic interior materials. State-of-the-art indoor air and building physical research is applied in the design of structural and ventilation solutions. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the importance of high-quality ventilation has also been emphasised in hospital facilities.

Digitalisation makes hospital life smoother and more energy-efficient

Building Information Modelling (BIM), i.e. describing structures and technical building solutions in digital form, enhances the control and construction of hospital design as well as the maintenance and energy efficiency of hospital properties. As BIM experts, the designers of the IHDA companies are among the best in the world.

Digital solutions also support healthcare professionals and customers in making everyday life easier and streamlining treatment processes.

Energy usage is the most significant contributor to the carbon footprint of hospitals. To reduce energy use, the alliance has developed innovative solutions that utilise energy recycling and renewable energy sources, such as solar energy and geothermal energy. A smartly designed and maintained hospital saves energy and reduces its carbon footprint.

The IHDA project is partly funded by Business Finland.

Further information

Jukka Vasara

Vice President
Granlund Oy

Members of the Integrated Hospital Design Alliance (IHDA):

  • Granlund – Finland’s leading building services designer, which has done hospital design and consulting in all Finnish hospital districts for 60 years.
  • AINS Group (AINS Group) – a construction and design service company and alliance expert that acts as a designer and consultant in most hospital projects in Finland.
  • Nordic Healthcare Group – the leading Nordic expert company in social and healthcare services, which utilises deep industry knowledge and strong analytics and data expertise in the design of increasingly functional health services.
  • AW2 architects – architect and main designer, specialising in social and healthcare projects, part of AINS Group.
  • Integrated Healthcare Design – Expert in integrated hospital design and developer of medical technology solutions, part of AINS Group.
  • Vison – Finnish leading expert in integrated project delivery and lean construction. Vison is the consultant on Finland’s most complex building projects.
  • K2S Architects Ltd – Our awarded architecture discovers new ways for human beings to dream, work and live.

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