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From on-site training to master


Liisa Joensuu/Tmi Magic Words

Summer is here, bringing with it a number of construction students to Oodi worksite, there to gain valuable experience to support their university studies. Most students spend their first summer undergoing on-site training from the perspective of construction workers. More experienced students may also get to try their hand at supervision.

The summer employees at the Oodi site consider themselves lucky to be able to participate in such a notable project. The unique construction method offers plenty to learn, and experience from a historical site is sure to look good on one’s resume. Miika Ranta (on the left) and Anniina Kallioniemi (on the right) will eventually graduate as master builders from the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, while Annukka Laurila (centre) is currently studying at Aalto University for a Master of Science (Technology) degree.

Although Miika Ranta is still young at 23, he already holds a vocational upper secondary qualification in construction, as well as plenty of experience in the construction industry. So far, he’s tried his hand at water damage restoration, sheet metal cladding, moulding, as well as window and fitting installation.

“At Oodi, I’m undergoing supervisor training, with my area of responsibility being interior fixed and operable glass walls. I’m getting to know quality requirements, measuring required quantities, as well as planning and scheduling construction work. Once the glass contractor arrives at the site, I’ll also get to supervise work for the first time. Over the summer, I’ll gain plenty of excellent experience to support my career as a master builder.”

A “minister of industry” in overalls

Annukka Laurila, 22, who is studying mechanical engineering and building technology at Aalto University, has a surprising dual role. While currently undergoing on-site training, she also works as Minister of Industry in the Guild of Mechanical Engineers.

“There are hundreds of students in the Guild of Mechanical Engineers, and I serve as the guild’s business relationship liaison. I procure funding and facilitate meetings between students and companies. I ended up here at the Oodi worksite after contacting YIT on guild business. They asked me if I had already found a summer job.”

“The Oodi site has a lot to give, seeing as how it’s unlike any other worksite. It’s cool to see how such large masses are being built on top of the arches and how the arches serve as buttresses. There’s a lot more to learn here than on smaller worksites.”

Continuing the family trade as master builder

Anniina Kallioniemi, 24, admits that she’s following in her family’s footsteps in becoming a master builder. Her father also works as a master builder, in addition to which there are a number of engineers and architects in her extended family. Although her father encouraged her to study and work in the same field, in the end, the decision to do so was Anniina’s own. Her fascination with the industry has continued to grow ever since.

“According to dad, I’ll make a great master builder because I’m good at maths, social and assertive. I originally thought about specialising in the humanities, and ended up studying to become an agrologist. I actually completed my Bachelor of Agriculture and Forestry degree a year ago. I’m also interested in horses, but decided to keep that as a hobby. I have a horse of my own, as well as a co-owned racehorse. I’m also into horse photography.”

“I’m thrilled to get to work at the Oodi site. We’re building something truly exceptional here at an incredible location!”

Steel frame on the third floor

The first two aboveground levels of the library will be clad in wood, while the third floor’s facade material is glass. In the early summer, the construction has proceeded to the third floor steel structures that will support the glass panels.

The glass-bearing white steel parts will remain visible even after construction is complete, while the grey beams and pillars on the lower floors will be hidden behind cladding. The white frame of the third floor is now slowly extending southward.

“The glass facade panels will most likely be manufactured in two different factories, since we need so many of them. The panels will have a printed surface, completely white on top and thinning towards the bottom. Currently we’re still in the design phase, after which we’ll proceed to commission the assembly,” says YIT’s senior site manager Tero Seppänen, whose artistic coffee cup was painted by his firstborn at day care a few years ago.

The support structures of the building’s load-bearing steel arches are now in the process of being dismantled, as all the welding work on the arches has been completed and the cast-in-situ slab supporting them has been tensioned. The removal of the supports will enable the installation of hollow-core slabs by the arches and the gradual extension of the third floor steel structures towards the south.

Numbers reveal what’s happening at the site

Site Office Manager Paula Antila views the construction of Oodi from a perspective of her own: through numbers. The majority of her working day is taken up by the processing of purchase invoices. They detail the materials arriving at the site as well as completed contract work.

“I check that the invoices are relevant to the project and have been drawn up according to agreements. I also verify that the goods have arrived, that we have a consignment note for them and that they have been signed for by supervisory staff. We share some of our tasks with the supervisory staff. Invoices are processed by others as well, and in accordance with our division of duties we register them to the budget, meaning the goal estimate. My duties also include posting the invoices to bookkeeping accounts and sending them on for approval.”

Every invoice is checked by up to ten people, so getting invalid invoices approved would be very difficult, even during the summer holiday season.

“Checking invoices is a multi-stage process at both YIT and the City organisation, and the regular professionals are never on holiday at the same time. I myself also have an experienced colleague who serves as my substitute when needed.”

In May, Paula reached a notable milestone on her career: 10 years of services at YIT.

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