Green values guide the operations of the Menninkäinen nursing home
An entrepreneur couple from Kajaani wanted to build new facilities for their nursing home – and go nature first. The facilities built by Hoivatilat take ecological considerations into account in the buildings, the technical solutions used in them and in the solutions utilised in the outdoor areas.
The ability to take ecological considerations into account in all solutions and the opportunity to carry out new ideas with an experienced property developer were the reasons why the Heiskanen couple decided to work with Hoivatilat.
—When we saw the site and the blueprints for the new facilities my husband Hannu Heiskanen and I immediately decided that we wanted a path in the backyard where we could stroll with the inhabitants, says Tarja Heiskanen.
Ecological and open-minded
The electricity consumption of nursing homes is usually relatively high because a lot of power is required for heating and for the lighting, which often needs to be on every hour of the day.
— We wanted to use durable, nature-friendly solutions, so we chose geothermal heating and LED lighting, Heiskanen tells us.
According to Heiskanen, the LED-lighting is more expensive than conventional solutions but it pays itself back in the form of energy savings surprisingly fast.
Recycling procedures have also been developed actively in Menninkäinen (in Finnish). Although almost 100% of waste produced in the nursing home can already be recycled, new solutions are still being investigated and developed.
— I am currently investigating the possibilities of recycling diapers as to their heat value, Heiskanen tells us.
In addition to the owner and the staff, recycling has certain requirements concerning the facilities. The spaces reserved for recycling in Menninkäinen are built to be spacious and easy to use – so that they can be used for the purpose far into the future.
Outdoor activities bring happiness
Menninkäinen is located close to downtown Kajaani, yet it is literally surrounded by nature. The courtyard of the nursing home is forest floor (dry peat), so it does not need to be fertilised or mowed. There are also several planter boxes available for the inhabitants designed for easy access with walking frames.
—They are so nice to look at and to tend, says Elisabeth Nilosaari, soon 90 years old, with delight.
In addition to the planter boxes and the forest-like path, the courtyard features a hothouse and berry bushes. The garden and its fruits also delight the inhabitants on the dinner table.