Providing expert services for the ECHA office building construction project

At the start of 2020, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) moved into its impressive new premises in Telakkaranta, Helsinki. The office building was constructed by Skanska then sold in 2019 to Hansainvest Real Estate for approximately EUR 135 million. Our experts participated in the project as supervisors of the owner’s interests, carrying out due diligence inspections, monitoring work and the warranty inspection.

Raksystems joined the project during the construction phase

The office building construction project began in November 2017 with the demolition of the old building. The project has paid particular attention to the cultural and historical importance of the area and to ensuring that the buildings are accessible and energy-efficient.

Raksystems experts joined the project during the real estate purchase process in 2019. Our experts handled both the Technical Due Diligence (TDD) and Environmental Due Diligence (EDD) inspections.

“The Due Diligence process provides detailed and unambiguous information about the condition of the property and any inspection, maintenance and repair needs, thus supporting assessments of the present technical value of the property and also its market value,” summarizes Raksystem’s Condition Supervision Department Manager Serge Skorin, who was responsible for the project inspections.

‘’Hansainvest Real Assets has already cooperated in the past with Raksystems on the occasion of several acquisitions. Based on that trustful cooperation we contacted Raksystems in spring 2019 for the TDD when we started the acquisition process for the ECHA building’’, says Stefan Tretau from Hansainvest Real Assets GmbH.

Construction phase completed as agreed

After handling the due diligence inspections, Raksystems’ experts supervised the interests of the owner up until the end of the construction phase. Our experts in construction, HPAC and electrical engineering monitored project progress to ensure that the building was completed as agreed in the contract. Their tasks included verifying the adequacy of the planning documents and monitoring the progress of the construction work both on site and through various meetings.

‘’Raksystems has acted as the technical advisor of Hansainvest Real Assets during the following supervision phase comprehending the monitoring and the acceptance procedure in the professional and very satisfactory manner as expected’’, says Tretau.

An impressive office building

The new occupants moved into the offices at the end of 2019. The completed 8-floor office building consists of two parts: an old, red-brick former woodwork building and a new modern building. The old building houses a conference and event centre, while the office spaces are mostly located in the new one. The building enclosure of the old part is listed.

The premises are now home to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). This is one of the EU’s largest agencies, with around 650 employees, and its role is to promote the safe use of chemicals within the European Union.

Warranty inspection in 2021

The warranty period for the contract is two years (YSE 1998 § 29) from the site handover. As this two-year limit approaches, a warranty inspection must be carried out.

Our experts were responsible for conducting this warranty inspection at the site. The inspection was comprehensive and detailed, with the process lasting from June to December of 2021.

“Special attention was paid to automation systems. Building automation systems are becoming more and more complex, so it is important to inspect them. Indeed, inspections of such systems should always be treated as a serious matter,” emphasises Raksystem’s Construction and Supervision Department Director Jarno Nurminen.

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