When walking from one end of the Lehto Group house factory to the other, you can see how a module apartment is constructed stage by stage. The wall and floor frames are assembled, insulated, and moved along the production line on rollers. Walls are raised, clad with boards on the outside, and painted – this time in green.
The rooms are painted white on the inside, and laminate or plastic membrane flooring is added. Finally, at the end of the line, you can see the finished 10 m2 residential room – module – that will be completely furnished as well, including wardrobes, tables, beds, and mattresses.
A total of 21 two-story buildings with 1,008 of these rooms will be built along Hanhikiventie in Pyhäjoki. Employees will live in the residential rooms during the construction phase of the nuclear power plant. The buildings will also include shared lounges, kitchens, and washrooms.
A competitive bidding was arranged on an accommodation village that can be transferred elsewhere at a later point in time. According to Lehto’s project development manager Riku Kimpimäki, the requested implementation method left some room for unique design solutions.
The house factory production line is managed by Henri Hiltula.
New production line, more employees
The Lehto Group house factory is located in Oulainen. With its 240 employees, the factory makes Lehto the largest private employer there.
The order from Pyhäjoki is important for Lehto Group. As a result of the order, a new production line was opened in a second hall close to the Oulainen house factory and the factory hired 50 new employees. Ten more employees are working at Pyhäjoki, receiving the buildings.
The order was confirmed in late 2016. Pekka Korkala, manager of the Oulainen factory, says that most people were hired in summer 2017, but more employees will still be needed. At present, people from Oulainen and the neighboring municipalities work at the factory.
– We are coping for the time being, but finding more workforce may become challenging over time. Luckily, the town of Oulainen, the TE office, and educational institutions are cooperating with us.
Element construction is among the key competencies of Lehto Group, but the Hanhikivi project is a different kind of project for the Group due to the related requirements.
– Technical and safety requirements follow nuclear construction standards, which means that we have had quite a learning experience. The inspections are very strict, Korkala says.
The project design phase was also demanding due to, for example, detailed requirements on documentation and technical issues.
– Fortunately, we have the resources and expertise needed for international commerce, Kimpimäki says.
Buildings made from apartment modules for the nuclear power plant employees are being built as we speak. According to production line manager Henri Hiltula (on left), a couple of apartments per week are shipped to Pyhäjoki. The person next to Hiltula is supervisor Juha Tuulas.
On a truck to Pyhäjoki
By the end of November, five buildings were complete at the accommodation village. More buildings are being raised along Hanhikiventie road as we speak.
The foundations in the area have already been laid. The Lehto Group employees put the modules in place. The buildings are finalized with roof trusses, roofs, and HVAC installations on site. Once everything is finished, there will be an accommodation village consisting of buildings of different colors, parking lots, and landscaping along Hanhikiventie.
The studio apartments meant for one are almost completely furnished at the factory in indoor facilities that are dry and full of light. The ready-made modules are protected with plastic. A truck can take two apartments at a time to Pyhäjoki, which is located around 45 kilometers from the factory.
– We ship a couple of apartments per week to Pyhäjoki, says production line manager Henri Hiltula.