EnergyLab Vaasa, which is rising up in the university campus, is a challenging building both in terms of planning and construction. Despite these challenges, Vaasa Parks, the company specialising in the development of business premises, has succeeded in combining technical and architectural requirements in an ingenious way.
“Because the building will occupy a high-profile position in the cityscape, it has to have a high-grade look. At the same time, the technical constructions and solutions of the building have to meet the exacting demands of the laboratories. This has been one of our most challenging projects. I’m delighted that the cooperation has been so active and efficient,” says CEO Ulla Mäki-Lohiluoma from Vaasa Parks, a company owned jointly by the City of Vaasa, Technology Centre Merinova and investment company Wedeco.
The University of Vaasa will be the primary user of the EnergyLab and will establish the Vaasa Energy Business Innovation Center (VEBIC) within it. VEBIC will be used by the university and local companies for research and product development. Mäki-Lohiluoma expects that the new EnergyLab will be widely used also by other university units.
A great many demanding functions will be included in the building, such as a three-storey internal-combustion engine and fuel laboratory, as well as research laboratories for electricity, the environment and geoenergy. All the premises have their own demands on the building’s technical design and services.
“The engine laboratory will be heavy, noisy and will produce vibrations and exhaust gases, and some other laboratories have sophisticated laboratory technology. For this reason, the building will have two parts,” Mäki-Lohiluoma explains.
EnergyLab is the first step on the road to a larger city block for the Vaasa Science Park, which will be completed by the 2020s. The area will be built in four stages and will also include a smart grid laboratory, a 12-storey main building for the Science Park and more office space.
“With EnergyLab and VEBIC, we are already creating a large new innovation platform. In the future, it will help energy technology companies and educational units to reach their goals. Our role has been to make it all possible, and our greatest motivator is the increasingly ambitious development of the collaboration between the region’s energy technology companies and universities,” says Mäki-Lohiluoma.
Business sector: Development of business parks and facilities, property and facility management, marketing and rental of business premises
Turnover 2015: €4 million