Description of the project: The Perhetalo Unit
The Perhetalo Unit, which offers child and family well-being services, was built as a part of the ESPER project of the South Savo Social and Health Care Authority (Essote). The goal of the ESPER project was to centralise specialised and primary healthcare services and social services in the Mikkeli area into the central hospital campus. The planning of the building was underpinned by the goal of making it easier for families with children to access services across different branches. The building is connected to Kuuma Hospital via a skybridge for quick access to emergency services.
The nature-themed glass façade of Perhetalo is an homage to the park that used to occupy the plot. Entitled Koivupuisto (birch park), the impressive façade designed by artist Lauri Nykopp consists of 600 glass elements with a total area of roughly 2,400 square metres.
Stable temperature conditions and draught-free cooling
Perhetalo is connected to the district heating network and its cooling and heating is provided by ItuGraf panels made in Finland. In addition to energy savings, the radiant ceiling system has several advantages especially in hospital buildings, which have special requirements for comfortable and healthy indoor conditions as well as high hygiene standards. Hospitals have strict indoor climate quality requirements as some patients may be vulnerable to airborne impurities, draughts and temperature changes.
Based on radiating technology, the ItuGraf system provides patient rooms with draught-free cooling while keeping the temperature stable. Moreover, room-specific controls make it possible to adjust indoor conditions to meet the needs of individual patients.
For the users of the rooms, the presence of the heating and cooling system is hardly noticeable: the system generates no distracting noises or draughts, and the temperature stays comfortable even during sweltering summer days. The ItuGraf system is at its best in rooms where changes in temperature load must be responded to quickly.
Modern panel system maintains high hygiene standards
When selecting materials for hospitals, designers prefer surfaces that are easy to clean and free from any holes or crevices that could trap dust and other impurities. This not only prevents infections from spreading, but also gives staff more time to focus on other tasks with less time spent wiping surfaces.
As such, ItuGraf panels are ideal for premises with strict hygiene requirements; with no fans, the system does not move air from one room to the next, and the smooth panel surfaces require no wiping. With minimum air circulation, the transfer of dust, bacteria and viruses can also be minimised.
The problem with traditional heating systems is that they rely on radiators, which accumulate impurities on their surfaces, and that they require a separate system for cooling. Air source heat pumps and fan convector units, on the other hand, generate draughts and circulate impurities in room air. Together with stricter energy saving targets, this has increased the popularity of radiant ceiling systems in hospitals.