One of Europe's biggest and most environmentally friendly hospital projects
Hospital project: Nya Karolinska Solna
One of Europe's biggest and most environmentally friendly hospital projects

This Swedish state-of-the-art university hospital is one of the biggest construction projects of its type in Europe and for Skanska, its biggest project ever. Alcro, which is a part of Tikkurila's subsidiary Tikkurila Sverige AB, supported Skanska with regard to all consultation services related to painting works. Nya Karolinska Solna i.e., NKS, was constructed next to the Karolinska University Hospital in Solna.

The construction work began in summer 2010 and continued until 2018. The painting work is divided into seven phases. The new hospital received its first patients in 2016.

Tikkurila had a unique role in the project. The task was to both sell and deliver paints to the paint shops as well as to act in the role of an expert in monitoring and controlling the painting works as a whole. The five-year contract signed in 2012 enhances the effectiveness of painting works and improves the documentation of environment-related matters.

The collaboration with Skanska and the project's architects, White Tengbom Team, is the first consultation assignment of its kind for Alcro. Alcro makes available its technical support and delivers the painting specifications and material descriptions for the whole project.

According to Tikkurila's painting consultant serving Skanska, Per Karneke, this was a unique case.

– I don't know of any other examples. But this works well, and it is great to be involved throughout the process. We have for example had the opportunity to help with preparing all the painting specifications. The collaboration has also worked well with all the three paint shops who worked in the different phases of the project – Alviks Måleri AB, Vega Måleri AB and Larsson & Örnmark Måleri AB.

– We have been building our support functions systematically, and this assignment came precisely at the right time. Now, we have the opportunity to follow our recommendations and products throughout the journey, from the architect's table to the finished surface. In addition, we were able to bring our input and new ideas regarding the painting of hospitals in general, continues Per Karneke.

Paint products put to a tough test 

The surface area of the new hospital will be approximately 330,000 square metres. In total, 150,000 litres of paint will be consumed in NKS. At a hospital site, high requirements are set for both painting work as well as for the hygiene classification. For example, surfaces must be easy to clean and able to withstand wear and strong detergents.

Approximately 1,500 litres of Tikkurila's Luja Matt finish paint will be consumed in the operating theatres, rooms in the intensive care unit and cleaning facilities, whose surfaces must meet the requirements of hygiene class 3. In hygiene class 2, full-matt Pashmina will be used as the finish paint.

Luja, which is manufactured in Finland, was selected for the most demanding hygiene class 3, because no corresponding product is available in the Swedish market. In Finland, Luja is used in the food and pharmaceutical industries, where a very high level of hygiene is required.

– The architect wants to make the walls as matt as possible so that the atmosphere in the hospital would not seem to be institutional. The basic colour is a slightly tinted white NCS S 0500-N, which corresponds to shade F497 ("Paper") in the Tikkurila Symphony colour collection, but about 60 bright colours are also possible, says Per Karneke.

The majority of the steels have been primed with either Temaprime EUR, which is a fast-drying alkyd primer with anti-corrosion pigments, or with two-component resin-modified Temacoat RM 40 epoxy paint.

Environmental issues at the core

In addition to extensive competence in paints and professional painting, Alcro's ambitious environmental work was also an important factor for Skanska when selecting a partner for the collaboration.

Text: Arja Schadewitz

Pictures: Skanska

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