A new, energy-efficient indoor skating rink will be opened in Pirkkola on 18 September. The Pirkkola rink has traditionally been very popular with approximately 150,000 users each year. Thanks to the new skating rink, the number of visitors is expected to increase to approximately 170,000 annually, working to alleviate the shortage of ice rinks in Helsinki. The construction costs of the new indoor skating rink are approximately 17 million euros. The building utilises new construction engineering that allows for an up to 60 per cent improvement in energy efficiency compared to the old rink. When the new rink opens, residents of Helsinki and ice sports enthusiasts will be able to enjoy the facilities of a modern indoor skating rink.
The old skating rink in Pirkkola had to be closed down due to its poor condition in spring 2018, which had a major impact on the skating facility shortage in Helsinki. The permit and planning phase for the new rink started immediately after the old rink was demolished, and the construction of the new two-rink building has progressed nearly on schedule.
The new skating rink utilises construction engineering that allows for the recycling of carbon dioxide in the pipes of the rink. This technology enables up to 60 per cent better energy efficiency compared to the old rink. In addition to this, a heat recovery pump has been connected to the rink’s refrigeration system to utilise the waste heat of the building. According to current estimates, the building will be able to operate on internal waste energy throughout the year, with the exception of winter periods when the outside temperature is extremely low. Thanks to the new equipment, the operating costs are expected to be significantly reduced compared to the old rink.
“The indoor skating rink will meet a dire need. The shortage of two ice rinks after the demolishing of the old hall has created some challenges in the already difficult skating rink situation. This new rink will now offer a welcome change. It is also wonderful that the new rink is able to utilise energy-efficient solutions that also improve the quality of the ice throughout. Quality ice is something Pirkkola is known for,” says City of Helsinki Sports Director Tarja Loikkanen with a smile.
The hall features two ice rinks, mainly used by figure skating and ice hockey clubs based in Helsinki. Rink bandy and ringette will also be allocated slots on the ice. In addition to this, the women’s Naisten Liiga ice hockey team of HIFK will be moving from Malmi to Pirkkola. During the day, ice time is allocated for special groups. The hall also offers skating time for the public three times a week. All in all, the rink’s utilisation rate will be at 98 per cent as soon as the doors open.
Pirkkola sports park Team Leader Teijo Korva is very pleased with the end result: “We have tried to accommodate user requests from the start of the planning phase, which is why we have had positive feedback from team visits. We have a brand new gym and mirror hall and our changing rooms are larger than before. Everything is new and functional, and the project has been under budget. Construction has also been almost on schedule. I would like to thank everyone who participated in the project! The hall was built in good cooperation and I think that we have been able to create excellent facilities for skating sports,” Korva says.
Development will continue in Pirkkola with the objective of offering Helsinki residents an even more versatile sports park in the future, offering services to both athletes and hobbyists. The sports park already has roughly 1,150,000 visits each year. A new, private multipurpose hall is already being built next to the swimming hall, which will, in part, supplement the current services in the park.
The Urban Environment Division of the City of Helsinki is the developer and property owner of the Pirkkola ice rink. The general contractor was Aki Hyrkkönen Oy, and Siren Arkkitehdit Oy was in charge of the architecture.
Pirkkola sports park, Team Leader, Teijo Korva, tel. +358 (0)9 3 108 7915, email@example.com
Foto: Maarit Hohteri