Hiirulaisenkuja – a healthy daycare environment for all children
Press release 13.3.2015
A healthy daycare centre focusing on the holistic welfare of children has been opened in the Hiironen district of Oulu. Hiirulaisenkuja Daycare Centre was built to secure a clean-air environment for children. There is an increasing demand for this kind of daycare service among families with children.
Hiirulaisenkuja Daycare Centre is run by Minna Vilmunen, who already has three daycare centres in the Oulu area. Indoor air problems at daycare centres and other public buildings are a regrettably common phenomenon for kindergarten teacher Minna Vilmunen. Children spend a considerable part of their day at daycare, so a log-built daycare centre where clean indoor air can be guaranteed felt like an interesting idea right away.
In tandem with the city of Oulu, a beautiful wooded plot for the healthy daycare centre was found in the Hiironen area, where it fits perfectly. A homely neighbourhood and a connection to surrounding nature have a calming effect on the daycare courtyard. In addition to the residents of Hiironen, Hiirulaisenkuja Daycare Centre also serves the areas of Kaakkuri and Kaukovainio. The centre is on a peaceful plot and has good connections – it is only a few minutes away from the city centre.
Hiirulaisenkuja Daycare Centre measures 580 m². There are four groups ranging from non-potty-trained to preschoolers. There is also one group for siblings. The total number of places is 75. Children have the opportunity to learn and explore in a Montessori prepared environment. Activities also include language clubs and nature education. In addition to clean indoor air, a positive and safe environment creates a good framework for the development and welfare of children.
Finnish massive log at the heart of a healthy daycare centre
Hiirulaisenkuja Daycare Centre is built entirely of PEFC-certified Finnish wood. Studies have shown that massive wood buildings have cleaner indoor air and humidity remains constant in spite of weather conditions, because a natural log wall allows vapour to move freely from the air to the wall structure and back. Indoor air humidity remains constant and for this reason it is easy to breathe in a massive wood building. When indoor air humidity is 30–55%, adverse factors in indoor air, such as mould spores and bacteria, increase only a little. A log building is therefore the safest living environment for allergic and asthmatic people.
For some time now it has been possible to utilise the undeniable advantages of log construction in detached house construction, but due to increasing demand companies want to offer these advantages outside the home as well. According to studies conducted by the Allergy and Asthma Federation, approximately 50 per cent of Finns suffer from allergies at some point of their lives. Approximately 3 per cent of Finns suffer from severe, chronic respiratory symptoms.
It is very important, especially for people that are sensitised to mould, that the house is built properly and out of materials that take the allergy aspect into account.
“It is possible to build a good house even for the mould-sensitised, if at the planning stage people focus on planning properly functioning structures (as far as structural physics is concerned), their details and various systems. And, of course, the actual construction process needs to be carried out according to the plans. In addition, it is necessary to emphasise to the resident the importance of maintenance, and to teach him or her to use the systems of the house”, says chief indoor air and repair advisor Tuula Syrjänen from the Allergy and Asthma Federation.
Recent studies also indicate that, as a material for interior decoration, wood has the same kind of stress-reducing and sleep quality-improving effect as nature. Wood-built environments tend to lower blood pressure and heart rate and calm people down, among other things.
A reliable Finnish operator guarantees the quality of the daycare centre project
The log supplier and contractor for Hiirulaisenkuja is Honkarakenne, a company that has developed a Terve Talo (healthy home) concept in tandem with the Allergy and Asthma Federation and VTT. As a certified pioneer in healthy construction, Honkarakenne plays a significant role as a supplier of healthy and safe daycare centres like Hiirulaisenkuja. Honkarakenne has built healthy daycare centres both abroad and in Finland. The structural solutions of Honkarakenne have been independently tested and proven to be safe.
“Healthiness and welfare are clearly current megatrends in construction”, says Honkarakenne CEO Mikko Kilpeläinen and continues: “Honkarakenne has taken healthy construction seriously for a long time. This is indicated by the fact that we are the only log house manufacturer entitled to use the allergy label.”
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Hiirulaisenkuja Daycare Centre
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