Life Science Center Found a More Responsible Way to Renovate Premises

Collaboration with Risain made Life Science Center a pioneer in responsible renovation.

Life Science Center has become the first Business Park in Finland to collaborate with circular economy expert Risain Oy. In their latest renovation project, Risain helped find new uses for the building materials and fixed furnishings that were to be demolished. The positive environmental impact of the project equates to the annual emissions of eight electrically heated detached houses.

Premises must meet tenants’ needs

When long-used premises become vacant, they must be updated to meet the requirements of new tenants. Especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, the office space needs of companies have changed drastically, meaning that spaces from before the pandemic rarely meet today’s expectations.

Now, Life Science Center has found a way to carry out renovation projects in a manner that produces positive environmental impacts.

LSC actively seeks ways to operate more responsibly

In February 2024, Life Science Center began the latest renovation project for newly vacated premises. Before the actual project began, Newsec, which manages LSC, and the property owner Niam Oy considered ways to give new life to usable fixed furnishings and building materials from the spaces to be renovated.

They found a partner in recycling operator Risain. Between December and February, Risain conducted a project to enhance reuse in the property, during which fixed furnishings, building parts, and materials from the spaces awaiting renovation were sold for reuse.

Risain, a recycling operator, served as the partner

Founded in 2011, Risain is a pioneering company in the circular economy, aiming to innovate recycling methods and enhance reuse. As an experienced operator, Risain can assess the potential for utilizing the materials and fixed furnishings to be demolished. They also handle the sale of materials and report on the environmental impacts of the sales project.

In the Picture from Left to Right: Joel Myllyaho (Carbon Footprint Calculation and Reporting Manager), Sirpa Rivinoja (Reuse and Pre-Demolition Expert) (Owner), Heta Simpanen (Sales and Customer Relations Manager)

“We have been involved in over a hundred demolition and renovation projects, but Life Science Center is the first Business Park we have collaborated with. They deserve credit for their courage to become a pioneer in responsible renovation in their field,” says Sirpa Rivinoja, founder of Risain Oy.

The project reduced emissions equivalent to eight electrically heated detached houses

As a result of the project, over 400 sale items from more than 50 product categories found new uses. The most sold items were flooring materials, doors, and partition walls, but the sold products also included entire kitchens with appliances.

The positive environmental impact of the project – the carbon handprint – was over 26 tons, equivalent to the annual emissions of nearly eight electrically heated detached houses.

“For us, this was an exceptional site because there was no loose furniture in the premises. All sale items were either building materials or fixed furnishings. Nevertheless, buyers found suitable items for their use, and the project was a success overall,” says Heta Simpanen, Risain’s Customer Relations Manager.

How was the project’s positive environmental impact assessed?

The carbon handprint is calculated by comparing the environmental impacts of the conventional approach with the implemented solution. In this case, the conventional approach would have meant that the demolished furnishings and building materials would have ended up mostly or entirely as waste.

In the implemented solution, a significant portion of the materials were reused. As a result, the construction companies and individuals who acquired them reduced their carbon footprint by the amount of emissions that would have been generated by producing new materials.

“By acting responsibly, Life Science Center did not reduce its own carbon footprint but enabled others to do so. At the same time, they avoided demolition and waste costs themselves, so the outcome was also positive financially,” says Simpanen.

Responsibility is action

Life Science Center and the companies behind it are committed to responsible business practices. Energy and water consumption are monitored in the property, LED lights are used in common areas, emissions are tracked, waste is recycled and sorted, interest is taken in the origin of restaurant food, and people are encouraged to cycle to work and use public transportation.

However, modernizing office spaces is sometimes necessary. Companies like Risain offer valuable services that allow Life Science Center to operate even more responsibly in renovation projects as well.

Read more about Risain’s operations on their website.