Cooper’s day-care center was introduced in the town of Järvenpää on January 18th, 2021. Cooper is unique in its space solution and as a project experience. It was completed on schedule, below the budget and meeting all the quality objectives. The day-care center offers facilities for 192 day-care children, and there are 40 experts in early childhood education and catering and cleaning services working in the facilities.
The building is the best in its energy class, belonging to energy efficiency class A. The solutions focus on the long life cycle of structures, energy efficiency as well as a safe, clean and functional environment.
“The project was exceptionally successful. Despite the exceptional circumstances due to the pandemic, we achieved all the client’s key objectives. The user is very satisfied with the result. The designers are satisfied with both the end result and the cooperation. The contractor has developed its own operations and has taken the lessons learned from Cooper to its other projects,” says Kennet Lundström from Boost Brothers, who worked as construction specialist in the project.
“The atmosphere of the creators of the project has also been unparalleled. Many have described their feelings and the working atmosphere as a unique experience,” Lundström says.
A new meeting place for generations
The day-care center is located on a well-being campus where many elderly people live. Therefore, facilities and activities were created in the day-care center to enable different age groups to meet. The aim is for the elderly people to be involved in day-care activities.
For example, a kitchen, a group room and a large gym have been designed as meeting points in connection with the facilities. The gym is communal to the well-being campus and it is used by the services of the elderly and the rehabilitation services of Järvenpää’s new social and health center JUST in their operation. According to the constructor, Mestaritoiminta Ltd, no similar facilities have been produced previously in Finland.
Facilities and service experience that serve users
The premises of the Cooper day-care center and the construction project were carried out on the terms of the users. The user was very closely involved in project preparation, goal setting, planning as well as construction.
“As users of the property, we have been allowed to contribute a great deal to the creation of the Cooper day-care center. By attending the meetings of the planning working group, we have ensured that our perspective has been taken into account in all phases of the project,” says Iiro Koskelainen, Director of the Cooper day-care center, in a recent article by Mestaritoiminta Ltd.
A good example of taking the user perspective into account is small group activities that the facilities enable. According to Koskelainen, the groups operate as group pairs with a common entrance and a lobby area, i.e. working closely together in everyday life. Groups of young and older children usually work as group pairs, so as they grow up, they move smoothly into the already familiar group of children.
Dialectical thinking helped the worksite succeed
“The Cooper day-care center project is also an exceptional project from a development point of view. In the project new methods for joint development of operations and project management were boldly used. Good examples are dialectical thinking and the Milestone model,” Lundström says.
In the Cooper day-care center project, dialectical thinking was applied to the development of the worksite phase – as far as we know, for the first time in a construction project. The method has been studied for years and it has been developed to improve human behavior for people themselves and others around them.
Dialectical thinking has five key functions: increasing capability, strengthening the motivation for change, ensuring behavior and skills become more common in the natural environment, increasing team’s skills and motivation, and influencing the environment.
“In the day-care project, these activities were implemented through systemic thinking and a common platform, including for example new types of team and sparring meetings, and targeted joint development and training sessions that enabled the project plan and implementation of the project to be taken together to a new level,” Lundström describes.
According to Lundström, the dialectical method also created a strong culture for the project, where people were invested in and appreciated: “Feelings were high on all sides, openness flourished and people were ready to try new things. This was reflected, for example, in open and fair communication between the project partners, which encouraged respect for diversity and respect for others.”
Planning and construction were guided by milestones
The Milestone model for planning and construction management was used in the Cooper day-care center project. The Milestone model helps achieve the cost, schedule and quality objectives of the construction project.
“The Cooper day-care center project was divided into milestones. In the intermediate evaluation, information relevant to the project was collected and evaluated on the realization of the schedule, quality assurance, costs, user and client satisfaction with the project team, and the number and impact of innovations,” says Lundström.
“It was especially important to hold the initial Milestone and production meetings with the project team even before the actual evaluation; ‘to see how it goes, how we are going to achieve our goals’,” Lundström says.
Boost Brothers started development of the Milestone model in 2013. This model has been used in more than 10 construction projects, all of which have been implemented on budget, on time and meeting the quality objectives.
Boost as the client’s expert in construction
The client of the Cooper day-care center was the town of Järvenpää, and the constructor was Mestaritoiminta Ltd, which was responsible for all decision-making during the construction period. Boost Brothers acted in the project as the client’s expert in construction, with its key tasks in project preparation, cost control, procurement, site monitoring (HVAC+plumbing) and operational development, as well as the Milestone intermediate evaluations.
The project’s lead contractor was Varte Lahti Ltd. The other parties to the intensive cooperation were the client, the users and Raami Architects responsible for the design of the facilities.
For more information on the project please contact:
Construction Specialist Kennet Lundström, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 40 662 4971