FAQ 2024

Frequently Asked Questions on the Contest Task 2024

Have a question on the Architecture Student Contest 2024 Contest Task? Fill in the form below to send us your question! This page is updated regularly, bookmark it to come back and see the answer to your question. 

For questions not related to the Contest Task, please contact your local Saint-Gobain representative here

This data is collected and will be processed in compliance with the processing details and the Privacy Policy of Compagnie de Saint Gobain available at all time on "Your Data and Your Rights". The rights access, opposition, deletion, and limitation of processing can be exercisedat all time by email to : privacycontact.CSG.FR@saint-gobain.com.

  • The Gardenia building was completed in 2001. Previously it used as a greenhouse garden, its main section was a tropical garden (the internal doesn't exist anymore). It ended a period of no operation in June 2021 with a new tenant: Craft brewery CoolHead Brew. Its current use is a brewery shop, bar and a restaurant.
  • Building A, was built in late 1990´s, has been used as office for the University staff. Its use is to be changed for the competition.
  • Old agricultural museum built in 1938 cannot be used due to mold contamination thus the need for demolition.

The current structure of building B is wall cladding with plywood over a concrete structure.

The Gardenia building cannot be modified. It's a building with an existing function. Student proposals should take the Gardenia building in the into account in relation to its connectivity with the other buildings as they are in the some larger site.

To the west of the site, you'll find grazing areas for animals, the Viikki Arboretum which is next to the largest nature reserve in Helsinki, Viikki-Vanhankaupunginlahti. To the South the Viikki farm, and facilities for research and teaching. To the East the buildings of the University of Helsinki. To the North (across the street) student housing buildings and more university buildings.

Yes. The task suggests 5-6 stories above ground level. At the moment there are no height limits. Parking should be considered underground.

No preferred orientation. Students should evaluate site, climate conditions (long winter), external views, and passive design strategies to meet the requirements of thermal, visual, acoustic and air quality comfort. Student should also consider external noise from streets and transportation.

The housing for researchers should be open for all type of faculty (from the university and guest researchers).

For us, the Japanese stone garden on the Gardenia plot was unnecessarily large. A Japanese garden is a so-called rock garden, so it does not contain cherry trees, bonsai, etc., which is what the image of a Japanese garden usually brings to mind. The part of the plot along Hakalan Road already has the possibility of building on it in the plan and is not being changed. If the garden is to be kept in the program, this delineation below would be sufficient:Japanese Garden Question

See image below, and link https://kartat.hsl.fi/linjakartta/

Public Transport Question

Yes there are pathways combined both for pedestrian and bike traffic.

The technical requirements of performance are included in the contest task (U-values, …).

You will find existing DWG files and PDF files of the site and buildings on the Edition 2024 section of the website.

We will continue with the OneClick LCA partnership in the similar format as for the previous edition.

OneClick LCA provides access to the software to be used for the competition and the training sessions for students. In the last edition, students had access to Carbon Designer 3D and Level(s) LCA tools. The tool has tutorials in several languages.

Students will be able to access the OneClick LCA platform which will contain information on the trainings and software.

The Gardenia building cannot be modified. It's a building with an existing function. Student proposals should take the Gardenia building in the into account in relation to its connectivity with the other buildings as they are in the some larger site.

As indicated in the Contest Task, Zone D (Gardenia and Japanese Garden) cannot be intervened. The Gardenia building and the Japanese garden will maintain their function. The contest proposal should take them into account into the overall proposal to show coherence and connection.

Student’s projects are not required to meet a specific carbon target in their LCA calculations, but projects may benchmark their result to existing requirements. 

In June 2023, The Finnish Urban Environment Committee decided that the carbon footprint will be introduced as a tool to guide low-carbon building construction in Helsinki in urban land use planning.

The threshold for the total carbon footprint is decided as follows: The total carbon footprint of an apartment building (use class 2) shall not exceed 16,0 kg/m2/a calculated over a 50-year lifetime.

 

Please refer to pages 34-36 of document Architecture Student Contest 2024 City of Helsinki and Vikkii District. The district will host over 7000 inhabitants and nearby buildings are a mix of residential, business and teaching. The area should be attractive to everyone (families, students and professionals).

Saint-Gobain will make available a specific plug-in for OpenStudio SketchUp, SG SAVE International. SG SAVEI (I like International) is a plug-in to SketchUp which contain a database of Saint-Gobain's products and allows automatic calculations of heat loss from a drawn house in SketchUp.

Student should set occupant schedules as they best see fit for the different spaces in their building design.

Students are free to use any energy calculation software (EnergyPlus (SketchUp), Design Builder, TranSys, Comfie, and the PHPP can also be used). We recommend using OpenStudio SketchUp which integrates the EnergyPlus plug-in, and the SG SAVEI plugin. We suggest you check within the University (e.g. engineering faculty might have building energy modelling software).

Basically, it can be summarized that the SG SAVEI plug-in is the main plug-in to create calculations from SketchUp.

Yes. The date is indicated in the ASC page. The international stage will take place the 10-13 June in Helsinki.

.Behind building A (existing building) there is an internal road, that also runs alongside the research farm building.  This road serves as the boundary limits of the project site. Student can propose ideas, but must respect an adequate distance and circulation with the research farm building.

In the new building, studios should be considered for 1 person and the typical necessary spaces (e.g. study, living and bedroom, kitchenet, a bathroom and toilet space)

There are only *.dwg and *.dgn files available for the site. If other type of files are identified these will be communicated and included in the resources file.

There are only *.dwg and *.dgn files available for the site. If other type of files are identified these will be communicated and included in the resources file.

These are the type of apartments that can be proposed in the new residential building. Find below a more detail description of options with average surface area.

  • Studio: An accommodation with 1 main room (both bedroom and living room) + 1 kitchen + 1 bathroom. There is no separate bedroom (min 15m2 – 35m2)
  • A 2-room accommodation (1 bedroom + 1 living room) + 1 kitchen + 1 bathroom (45m2)
  • A 3-room accommodation (2 bedrooms + 1 living room) + 1 kitchen + 1 bathroom (65m2)
  • A 4-room accommodation (3 bedrooms + 1 living room OR 2 bedrooms + 1 living room + 1 dining room) + 1 kitchen + 1 bathroom (80m2)

Students should follow the proportions indicated in the Contest Task, any other variation should be justified for the benefit of the users.

Appropriate apartment sizes depend on the overall solution and the user group should be the choice of competitors. As general comment, the smaller the apartment size in the plan, the greater the role played by shared spaces (hobby rooms, sauna section, meeting room, etc.).

[NEW INFORMATION]

After conversations between the Helsinki city, Helsinki University, city museum and the museum agency it has been confirmed that the museum is listed as protected and can't be demolished.

Potential developments may lead to the museum building becoming some kind of ancient monument. In this competition, “out of the box” ideas could be obtained from students.

Please note that the museum cannot be used as an interior space, but at least some role could be found for its stone walls in such a way as to preserve its character and dignity as to avoid demolition).

So at least in this competition we are looking for use as some kind of environmental structure.

[NEW INFORMATION]

After conversations between the Helsinki city, Helsinki University, city museum and the museum agency it has been confirmed that the museum is listed as protected and can't be demolished.

Potential developments may lead to the museum building becoming some kind of ancient monument. In this competition, “out of the box” ideas could be obtained from students.

Please note that the museum cannot be used as an interior space, but at least some role could be found for its stone walls in such a way as to preserve its character and dignity as to avoid demolition).

So at least in this competition we are looking for use as some kind of environmental structure.

As indicated in the Contest Task, the New construction building (zone B) will be demolished and students need to propose a new building design. The buildings are planned to demolished and replaced with a new residential block.

 

The Helsinki city and Helsinki University would like to receive innovative solutions rather than plans drawn up in advance.

In accordance with the Finnish planning system, a new urban plan is being drawn up for the area (Vikkii) to define the size and height of the building suitable for the use, functionality, location and urban landscape of the building.

This is also where the competition can bring additional ideas and the City and University would be happy to welcome fresh proposals.

The Helsinki city and Helsinki University would like to receive innovative solutions rather than plans drawn up in advance.

In accordance with the Finnish planning system, a new urban plan is being drawn up for the area (Vikkii) to define the size and height of the building suitable for the use, functionality, location and urban landscape of the building.

This is also where the competition can bring additional ideas and the City and University would be happy to welcome fresh proposals.

The Helsinki city and Helsinki University would like to receive innovative solutions rather than plans drawn up in advance.

In accordance with the Finnish planning system, a new urban plan is being drawn up for the area (Vikkii) to define the size and height of the building suitable for the use, functionality, location and urban landscape of the building.

This is also where the competition can bring additional ideas and the City and University would be happy to welcome fresh proposals.

Please read the Rules and Organization Guide in section B) Who can participate: 

- Participation is open to all students, undergraduate or master, of study during the academic year 2023- 2024. Students on scholarship and exchange programs can participate.

Note that participating student teams must be made up of students in countries where a National Stage is organized by Saint-Gobain.

 

 

Here is a brochure that explain the concept of Daylight Autonomy.

https://assets.lutron.com/a/documents/daylight_ana_bklt.pdf

It is a measure the % of time a specific level of daylight enters a room during the year. A value of 60% for 300lux, means that during 60% of the time between a time period, natural daylight will meet the 300 lux.

There are many software that can do the simulation. The following has a free trial: https://deluminaelab.com/dl-light/en/autonomy.html

Also, VELUX seems to have a free software that can do the calculations link

More information can be found on the corporate website. Below some links: You can the following links: 

Other resources (you can translate the page using Google)

UK: https://www.saint-gobain.co.uk/csr/creating-better-buildings

BR: https://www.isover.com.br/sustentabilidade-na-saint-gobain 

AR : https://www.saint-gobain.ar/es/sustentabilidad/construccion-sostenible 

The 4200 m2 is the constructable area.

Yes you can change the width and lining of the street to serve the best the plans.

Solutions should have parking lots as they best serve the purpose of the building e.g. family apartments need more parking lot and student apartments less or none. 

Yes, no limit on number of buildings

Also zones A and C are usable for residential construction. We are looking for new solutions for zones A and C.

It’s up to students to propose considering possible size of the bedrooms. Also student residential solutions can have 1-2 person apartments.

City doesn’t want to steer planning/ideas too stricly… Instead we look forward for various solutions for residential living.

Building was finished in 1991.

Student can propose other type of internal connectivity for the site. Thus the road as it stands doesn’t need to be preserved.

Student can propose other type of internal connectivity for the site. Thus the road as it stands doesn’t need to be preserved. 

There are no existing *dwg files for the existing building A. Only the PDF files shared are available. If any new information is available it will be communicated and shared. 

Zones A and B should be studied together to answer the contest task for both short- and long-term residential functions. Students can consider the including of zone C.

Thus, zones A and C are usable for residential construction.

Zones A and B should be studied together to answer the contest task for both short- and long-term residential functions. Students can consider the including of zone C.

Thus, zones A and C are usable for residential construction.

No answer for this and no more specific information.  The information given about buildings A and B should be sufficient, considering the scope and preciseness of students’ idea competition. 

Zones A and B could be studied together to answer the contest task for both short- and long-term residential functions.

Underground parking is not obligatory.  City would appreciate interesting solutions for parking where aboveground parking spaces could be integrated to the rest of the  block/quarter area. 

It has been confirmed that the museum is listed as protected and can't be demolished. Potential developments may lead to the museum building becoming some kind of ancient monument. In this competition, “out of the box” ideas could be obtained from students. Please note that the museum cannot be used as an interior space, but at least some role could be found for its stone walls in such a way as to preserve its character and dignity as to avoid demolition). So at least in this competition we are looking for use as some kind of environmental structure. Information on the building can be found on the video 360° view of the Contest plot - Immersive Experience in minute 4:42 where the facades, height and dimension of windows can be observed.

It refers to the total floor area of the buildings (new construction and renovation)

No other answers altitude must refer to sea level.  Link added by Anne. This area is just close to sea bay Viikinlahti. 

You can find out the height of the terrain from the ground surface elevation model: https://www.maanmittauslaitos.fi/kartat-ja-paikkatieto/kartat/mika-korkeusmalli

The main purpose of Building B is residential apartments. The rest of the area should be considered for other common uses (commercial, sauna, hobby rooms, ….).

As indicated in the Contest Task the main objective for building A is to be renovated, with the intention of conserving an existing and functional building.   Note that 40% of the evaluation criteria is related to the renovation of the building. Thus only partial (minimal) demolition should be considered for possible expansion or renovation of this building. 

When thinking about the usage of proposed building use, to focus pretty freely between residential, working and common spaces.  

There are no existing *dwg files for the existing building A. Only the PDF files shared are available.  The existing pdf-picture should be enough for this kind of idea competition.   

As indicated in the Contest Task the main objective for building A is to be renovated, with the intention of conserving an existing and functional building.   Note that 40% of the evaluation criteria is related to the renovation of the building. Thus only partial (minimal) demolition should be considered for possible expansion or renovation of this building. 

Demolition, partially, renovation, change of the purpose of the building or expanding the building – all are possible options for future design referring to Building A. 

Number of occupants is really dependant on the chosen design option and planned target group.  

 

The facace is made most probably made of granite and cement. 

.As indicated in the Contest Task the main objective for building A is to be renovated, with the intention of conserving an existing and functional building.   Note that 40% of the evaluation criteria is related to the renovation of the building. Thus only partial (minimal) demolition should be considered for possible expansion or renovation of this building. 

.For this Contest, students should consider the whole site for their design proposal. There are no limits on the number of buildings that can be proposed. Nevertheless, the evaluation will be done on the proposed new building(s), the intervention (renovation/expansion/integration) to the existing building and the associated open spaces on the proposed site. Students should take into account connectivity with nearby areas (Gardenia, university buildings, …)

No information is available. The Gardenia is not to be intervened, and the project should consider it only as a nearby area.

Yes, also zones A and C are usable for residential construction.

Please check as there is a question already providing guidance in regards to the number of rooms and surface area. Nevertheless, students are encouraged to propose other apartment configurations.

As indicated in the Contest Task the main objective for building A is to be renovated, with the intention of conserving an existing and functional building.   Note that 40% of the evaluation criteria is related to the renovation of the building. Thus only partial (minimal) demolition should be considered for possible expansion or renovation of this building. 

No information is available. The Gardenia is not to be intervened, and the project should consider it only as a nearby area.

Please refer to a similar question on the FAQ. The Japanese Garden is not to be changed, but student should show coherence and connectivity between this area and the rest of the plot.

Please refer to similar questions in the FAQ. It’s up to students to propose considering possible size of the bedrooms.  The City doesn’t want to steer planning/ideas too stricly… Instead the city looks forward for various solutions for residential living.

Yes,the city looks forward for various solutions for residential living.

In the contest task, there is the following information:

  • For energy efficiency, students can use any energy modelling software. Teams can use Saint-Gobain's Plug-In SG SAVE International that includes a SG material database.
  • The weather data to use for calculations should be the one for Helsinki.
  • A whole life carbon calculation will be made using the OneClick LCA tool. Recommendations to use the LCA according to international standards.

After the OneClickLCA training you have access to Level(s) tool, which is a cradle-to-cradle method, This means that it takes into account all the necessary life cycles. This includes embodied carbon (stages A1-A3, A4, A5, B1, B3, B4, B5, C1, C2, C3, C4, D) and operational carbon (B6, B7). 

From the results it is simple to extract values for embodied carbon and operational carbon. The contest task asks for a whole life carbon assessment, i.e., looking at both operational and embodied impacts.

Once the energy calculation is made, the results are fed into the B6 stage, i.e., the operational energy. The embodied impacts originates from the materials and are fed into their respective queries, i.e., materials, transport distances, construction site operations and use phase emissions. 

Both operational and embodied impacts are calculated by floor area and calculation period (50 years), and the results will be presented by life cycle stage and as whole life cycle impacts. 

B1 is the emissions during use, and not a construction phase. B1 inputs in Level(s) tool are basically the refrigerants used in building technology systems, which you can choose from the drop-down menu.

The only information in regards to layout are the provided PDF for building A. The city is looking for innovative and fresh solutions, rather than very detail of plans. Actual documentation and its granularity should be enough for the competition.

It refers to the surface area where the new building is located. This can be seen in the PDF related to the site plan "Site plan - 7_91-36-198-1_Asemapiirros"

The roundabout where Viikintie, Vikinkari, and Koetilantie intersect is not part of the project site. Thus the city doesn't expect students to propose something here, and this accessibility is not evaluated in the contest evaluation.

Nevertheless, students are free to provide a conceptual proposal for this access.

Take into account the a new tramline passes through that intersection (see page 8 of Contest Task). 

 

 

There available information in regards to plans for both buildings has been provided.

The Koetilantie is not part of of the building site. Internal roads like Hakalantie can be changed based on design proposal by students.

As indicated in previous questions: 

The Helsinki city and Helsinki University would like to receive innovative solutions rather than plans drawn up in advance.

In accordance with the Finnish planning system, a new urban plan is being drawn up for the area (Vikkii) to define the size and height of the building suitable for the use, functionality, location and urban landscape of the building.

This is also where the competition can bring additional ideas and the City and University would be happy to welcome fresh proposals.

The Contest Task aims to include a new construction project and a renovation project. Given the site, the City and University would like to preseve Building A and have students propose a short or long-term residential function for this building.

Sustainability is also about making better use of existing buildings, and reduce demolition when not necessary.

For the contest task the city and University want to receive ideas for the renovation of the existing building A. As indicated in previous questions, only partial (minimal) demolition should be considered for possible expansion or renovation of this building. 

Please refer to the information shared on the software SAVE-I and SketchUp. You'll find the email of the contact person to send the specific question.

The question is not clear. It's not clear what area of the contest site it's refer as greenery. For clarification:

  • The Japanese garden cannot be removed or relocated
  • The other areas withing the zone "possibilities for development" (area for new building, existing building, internal street Hakalante, and outside area) are part of the zones that can be intervened.

Please check page 12 of the Contest Task to view the project site and internal limits.

As indicated in other questions: 

Please note that the museum cannot be used as an interior space, but at least some role could be found for its stone walls in such a way as to preserve its character and dignity as to avoid demolition).

So at least in this competition we are looking for use as some kind of environmental structure.

Building A interior walls are lightweight (gypsum) walls.   The same with building B, but building be is supposed to be demolished and replaced by new building..

It has been confirmed that the museum is listed as protected and can't be demolished. Potential developments may lead to the museum building becoming some kind of ancient monument. In this competition, “out of the box” ideas could be obtained from students. Please note that the museum cannot be used as an interior space, but at least some role could be found for its stone walls in such a way as to preserve its character and dignity as to avoid demolition). So at least in this competition we are looking for use as some kind of environmental structure. Information on the building can be found on the video 360° view of the Contest plot - Immersive Experience in minute 4:42 where the facades, height and dimension of windows can be observed.

The Gardenia is not to be intervened, and the project should consider it only as a nearby area.

Please refer to similar questions in the FAQ. 

The Helsinki city and Helsinki University would like to receive innovative solutions rather than plans drawn up in advance.

In accordance with the Finnish planning system, a new urban plan is being drawn up for the area (Vikkii) to define the size and height of the building suitable for the use, functionality, location and urban landscape of the building.

This is also where the competition can bring additional ideas and the City and University would be happy to welcome fresh proposals.

 

The City doesn’t want to steer planning/ideas too stricly… Instead the city looks forward for various solutions for residential living.

No additional information was provided by Helsinki City on this topic. Nevertheless, this could be a website with relevant information:

https://hri.fi/data/en_GB/dataset/helsingin-kaupungin-puurekisteri

Are for the different lots are observed in the PDF : "Site plan - 7_91-36-198-1_Asemapiirros", for example:

4200 m2 refers to the surface area where the new building is located.

 

This site plan can be used to identify the site boundary.

 

There is no more information that what has been shared in the website, and information shared in the FAQ.

All the information available is in the documents that can be downloaded from the site. Other alternative is to estimate height using Goggle maps.

The structure of Building A is made of concrete. 

As there is no more information, students can make assumptions and provide ideas for the renovation of this building.

Please see the Contest Task: 

"The apartments within the building are not intended only for student housing, but targets also for families (visiting professors, local families) thus giving the Viikki district more diversity."

Also check the other FAQ.

Building A lamella looking façade is glass with steel/metal frames.

Please refer to other FAQ in regards to options for the existing building.

This is meant as reference for the apartment size.

Please check the FAQ for more details on apartments size options.

The project brief (Contest Task) is available on the following link, where you can download other available resources

https://architecture-student-contest.saint-gobain.com/edition-2024-helsinki

The limits to the Gardenia and the Japanese garden sites are indicated in the Contest Task. External areas in these zones are expected to be included in the proposal. Students could, at their criteria, consider a proposal to the parking area. Nevertheless, the evaluation of the projects will focus on the zone for development with the new construction and renovation projects.

Availabla plans ans drawings are found on this link: 

 

https://architecture-student-contest.saint-gobain.com/sites/architecture-student-contest.saint-gobain.com/files/documents/Plans%20and%20Drawings.zip

Energy calculations should be done for the new construction taking into account the whole building, and to show comparison with annual energy demand objective of 15kWh/m2.

Simplifications and assumptions taken should be clear.

It depends what is meant by organic model, if it is a construction that can rotate during day or change shape, it probably can not be simulated well.

Energy modelling should serve to give quick design information for decision making. 

The recommendation is to simplify the building volumetry, as complex geometries might not be possible to create and might take a lot longer to run the calculations.  Find below images of models (see the simplication in the glazing for a façade))