In January 2018, the European Commission adopted the new Europe-wide strategy on plastics, that aims to build a foundation on a new circular economy. It focuses on products and practices designed in accordance with sustainable development. The usage of disposable plastic is severely restricted and even tighter legislation will follow this summer.
The pressure for change is felt especially in the construction industry. Building sites have traditionally applied disposable plastic and wood constructions for sheltering. They are considered easy to install, yet, the time-consuming transfers and repairing requires labor hours. Furthermore, the leaking plastic walls, heat and moisture fluctuations have caused serious problems in building sites. Humidity issues are on a radar of the Ministry of the Environment as well as the real estate and construction organizations.
“Our clinical partition wall solutions meet the strictest of requirements not only on moisture issues but also on plastic recycling and air quality,” says Joni Vehniäinen, founder of Dust Shelter Finland Oy. The world-wide patented DSS Solution is just the kind of innovation the European Union and the Ministry of the Environment having been calling for. The company was accepted as the only Finnish participant in the EU project commercializing innovations, the EU Circular Economy project. “We have already gained a foothold not only in Finland but also in the international markets,” Vehniäinen rejoices.
Turnaround of construction projects significantly reduced
Dust Shelter’s DSS Solution is the result of a five-year product development process. Element-based shelter walls are transparent, compact, fireproof, shockproof, UV-protected and height-adjustable elements that can be joined together without tools. They form a solid, compact partition wall structure. The product family also includes a connectable door unit with air filtration, electricity and underpressuring. “This is one of a kind innovation compliant with sustainable development and recycling regulations,” Vehniäinen explains.
“Businesses are invited to introduce alternatives for disposable plastics, along with voluntary measures to reduce microplastics ending up in the wild.”
– Salla Ahonen, Specialist, Confederation of Finnish Industries, Brussels, EU and trade policy
The strengths of DSS Solution products include a fast installation and transition, as well as a durable wall structure. “An 800m2 shelter area can be erected in only six hours when conventional methods can take several weeks to complete. With just five transfers, the investment has been returned, in many cases already in the first construction site. Years of further use will result significant savings,” Vehniäinen calculates. The standardized conditions, moisture protection, energy savings and the speed of installation considerably shorten the turnaround of construction projects.
The clinic aluminum DSS Solution walls are also well suited for airport areas, hospitals, schools and kindergartens. They can even be utilized as space divisions at temporary offices. “The DSS Solution walls allow customers an uninterrupted operation during the repair work,” points out Yrjö Laiho, responsible for product development.
The commercialization phase started
The sales and rental are operated by DSS Growth and the commercialization phase has begun to accelerate. For example, Peab continues, after a successful pilot, to use DSS walls in the ULTIMES Business Garden construction site. Hartela Oy leverages DSS products at the Ramboll’s upcoming campus area in Leppävaara, Espoo. “We wanted to try out a new way for weather sheltering. The walls have proved to be quick to erect and move,” confirms Ari Kammonen, Construction Manager. He warmly recommends DSS Solution products for others too.
Vehniäinen also highlights the improved working conditions. “With the STX France St. Nazaire shipyard in France, three-shift work could be reduced by one shift,” he says. “Not to mention the upgraded working conditions during a cold and humid season.”
No more maintenance breaks
One of the best Dust Shelter’s successes in terms of air purification was experienced with AAVI Technologies when renovating the Mäkelänrinne Swimming Center. The achieved air purity with AAVI IonJet 1000 was as an average 99% degree of separation. The dust concentrations in the surrounding compartments ranged from 0.02 to 0.2mg / m3. Thus, the indoor swimming pool could be kept in service throughout the renovation.