Trifami 3D involved in implementing Circular Economy Design in Iittala Village

Iit­ta­la Vil­la­ge is a vil­la­ge celebra­ting Fin­nish design in Iit­ta­la, Hämeen­lin­na, att­rac­ting tra­vel­lers from far and wide to enjoy a unique envi­ron­ment and art experiences. 

This sum­mer in Iit­ta­la Vil­la­ge, you can admi­re Kier­to­ta­lous Design from 1.8.2022, which also fea­tu­res the han­diwork of Tri­fam. The aim of the Circu­lar Eco­no­my Design pro­ject is to high­light Iit­ta­la’s values, whe­re was­te mate­rials are given a new life in the form of art. 

One of the main objec­ti­ves of the Iit­ta­la glass fac­to­ry is to mini­mi­se the amount of cul­let gene­ra­ted at the fac­to­ry. We recycle most of the clear cul­let our­sel­ves, whi­le the majo­ri­ty of the colou­red cul­let goes to the con­struc­tion industry as raw mate­rial. The rest of the cul­let is used, for example, for various works of art. In this way, all the was­te glass pro­duced at the glass fac­to­ry is recycled,” says Tai­ja Toi­vo­nen, CI Coor­di­na­tor at the Iit­ta­la glass factory. 

A new life for concrete anf broken glass in the form of art

Tri­fam’s task in this unique pro­ject was to design and rea­li­se seve­ral artworks in Iit­ta­la Vil­la­ge, using only was­te mate­rials such as conc­re­te and bro­ken glass. 

In this pro­ject, we are using crus­hed conc­re­te and crus­hed glass to crea­te new artworks. This is the per­fect way to bring the circu­lar eco­no­my principle to life, as we use old mate­rials to give new life to pro­ducts,” says Sami Niku-Paa­vo, Pro­duct Mana­ger at Tri­fa­mi 3D Oy.

©Jose­fii­na S. / Tri­fa­mi 3D

Working together for a sustainable and beautiful outcome

Once again, the key to this pro­ject was effec­ti­ve coo­pe­ra­tion between local busi­nes­ses and the city. We at Tri­fam are very hap­py to have the honour of being invol­ved in this pro­ject and to bring our exper­ti­se to bear on an impor­tant issue. 

The conc­re­te pieces of Iit­ta­la Vil­la­ge and the sha­ped art sta­tion cano­py are the result of coo­pe­ra­tion between busi­ness and urban deve­lop­ment in Hämeen­lin­na,” says Pia Nie­mi­kot­ka, Busi­ness and Urban Deve­lop­ment Ser­vices Deve­lo­per at Lin­nan Kehi­tys Oy. 

Find out more about the Circu­lar Eco­no­my Design pro­ject via this video (sub­tit­les avai­lable in english):

Students of constuction technology at Häme University of Applied Sciences were tasked to design products from neocast concrete

We have coo­pe­ra­ted with Häme Uni­ver­si­ty of Applied Sciences HAMK. In the most recent coo­pe­ra­tion pro­ject, small groups of ear­ly-sta­ge civil engi­nee­ring stu­dents were able to deve­lop various pro­ducts using neoconc­re­te in their construction. 

The stu­dents were given the fol­lowing task: 

  • Design a pro­duct from neoconc­re­te and make a moul­ded and 3D ima­ge of this product. 
  • The pro­duct must be envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly and con­tain neoconcrete. 
  • Make a report on what the circu­lar eco­no­my means and what neoconc­re­te is.

At the end of the pro­ject, all 16 groups pre­sen­ted their reports and pro­ducts to us. The main lear­ning from this pro­ject was to inc­rea­se our unders­tan­ding of the poten­tial uses of neoconc­re­te. It was also great to see that a wide varie­ty of pro­ducts can be deve­lo­ped from neoconc­re­te - only your ima­gi­na­tion is the limit!

Meet the Trifami members part 1

Timo Sollo

Who is Timo?

An expe­rienced con­struc­tion ent­repre­neur and inno­va­tor from the city of Hämeen­lin­na. The fami­ly con­sists of a wife, three adult children, an elder cat, and a grandc­hild. In addi­tion to the fami­ly, lei­su­re time is spent on a varie­ty of sports, inclu­ding rol­ler ska­ting, jog­ging, pila­tes, spin­ning, and open-air swimming. 

Timo Sol­lo is an ent­repre­neur - the fat­her of Tri­fa­mi’s idea - who­se con­struc­tion com­pa­nies and many pro­jects get air under their wings, even though the gene­ral eco­no­mic situa­tion is chal­len­ging, and the industry as a who­le is a bit ten­se. Is he a stub­born and calcu­la­ting ent­repre­neur when he is able to clear his way furt­her and furt­her in his field from deca­des to next? Not at all, because success requi­res an approac­hable cha­rac­ter who cares about all, as well as trust in one­self and others. 

Timo belie­ves that he has more influence as an ent­repre­neur than in any other role. “As an ent­repre­neur, I can work from the heart and be comple­te­ly myself. Years and expe­rience have pro­vi­ded oppor­tu­ni­ties for many things,” says Timo with a wide smile. 

Goals, visions, and dreams are in the skies, and the work is done with a relaxed approach, as well as end­less ins­pi­ra­tion. Res­pon­si­bi­li­ty moti­va­tes Timo to always do his best: “lea­ders­hip is a natu­ral part of me. It needs to be bold­ly high­ligh­ted and not fea­red.” The company’s long sto­ry could have thousands of streams for­ming rivers and descen­ding into the sea. The doors have been ope­ned in many direc­tions and are still being ope­ned. It is Trifam’s vision for a new kind of con­struc­tion concept that is ‘out of the box’ thin­king at its best. “This concept is still a long way off, as it is sus­tai­nable for the future.”

Reetta-Maria Tolonen-Salo

Who is Reetta?

An expe­rienced real esta­te and con­struc­tion ent­repre­neur from Hämeen­lin­na. Lei­su­re time is fil­led with associa­tion acti­vi­ties, exerci­se, relaxing at home and spen­ding time with the family. 

When Timo Sol­lo cal­led to ask for help in pro­mo­ting his idea, Reet­ta Tolo­nen-Salo pro­mi­sed to help and asked for Har­ri Hildén. That’s how she is - a well-known expert in the con­struc­tion industry and real esta­te invest­ment in Hämeen­lin­na, an uni­fier of people, an enabler of ideas and always rea­dy to help others move forward. 

Recycled conc­re­te took Reet­ta’s inte­rest quickly as it went: the help quickly expan­ded into a part­ners­hip when Reet­ta said she was doing Tri­fa­mi rela­ted work exci­ted­ly to late at night. “I was loo­king for a start-up in the con­struc­tion industry to invest in and this was such a damn good idea that I was thin­king about going now!” Reet­ta laughs. 

Reet­ta desc­ri­bes her role in Tri­fam as the “voice of arran­ge­ment”. She is ent­husias­tic about new ideas, but also slows down the pace of progress as nee­ded, and makes sure that the pro­ject is progres­sing sys­te­ma­tical­ly and that the foun­da­tion, fun­ding, and prac­tices are in place befo­re reac­hing out to the stars. Nort­hern strength of mind pus­hes the things and lia­bi­li­ties to the finish line. “Open hones­ty and direct­ness is impor­tant in achie­ving goals,” Reet­ta sums up. 

Reet­ta is an ent­repre­neur to spi­rit and blood. At Tri­fa­mi, Reet­ta is especial­ly ins­pi­red by the oppor­tu­ni­ty to crea­te a new one, to deve­lop the frozen con­struc­tion industry in a more eco­lo­gical direc­tion and to turn con­struc­tion was­te into a business.

Harri Hildén

Who is Harri?

One of Tri­fa­mi’s three foun­ding mem­bers. Exten­si­ve expe­rience in mana­ge­ment con­sul­ting, financing arran­ge­ments and growth com­pa­nies. In his free time, he enjo­ys acti­vi­ties with fami­ly, dachs­hund, foot­ball (You’ll never walk alo­ne!) And motorcycling. 

When Har­ri Hildén heard about the idea of ​​deve­lo­ping solu­tions for the circu­lar eco­no­my in con­struc­tion, she got exci­ted and jum­ped in to start a com­pa­ny. The circu­lar eco­no­my had been of inte­rest for a long time and under the sur­face the­re was an unre­lea­sed exci­te­ment. Now a great idea had been put to the table and the team had a great guys. 

Har­ri is a start-up and inno­va­tion expert who has been invol­ved in many various pro­jects during his long career as an ent­repre­neur and has lear­ned to dis­tin­guish grains from chaff. As a con­sul­tant, he has been invol­ved in set­ting up, deve­lo­ping and sup­por­ting hundreds of com­pa­nies in Fin­land and the Nor­dic count­ries: “I have always wan­ted to help others move forward, that is real­ly the most impor­tant thing for me. At the same time, I am qui­te a tenacious, stub­born cha­rac­ter and I belie­ve in hard work. The­re must be cou­ra­ge and strong will. If you don’t succeed once, you have to try again. ” 

To Tri­fa­mi, Har­ri brings his exper­ti­se, expe­rience in busi­ness plan­ning and deve­lop­ment, financing, inter­na­tio­na­liza­tion and pro­duct deve­lop­ment. From his exten­si­ve networks, valuable experts have been selec­ted for the Tri­fa­mi’s team and strong assets have been found. “Some­ti­mes I may have been able to point in the right direc­tion at times, showing that a cer­tain door should be knoc­ked on, and pos­sibly it will open up to somet­hing great,” Har­ri smi­les. “All the pieces are snap­ped in place. The com­pa­ny has great cou­ra­ge and will to move things forward. This is going to be a big deal.” 

Good, bad concrete

Conc­re­te is the most wide­ly used buil­ding mate­rial in the world - not least because it can be used for a wide varie­ty of uses and sizes. The popu­lar mate­rial is made of conc­re­te by its low cost, abi­li­ty to withs­tand mois­tu­re, compres­si­ve strength and stiff­ness, and wor­ka­bi­li­ty. In addi­tion, conc­re­te is a fire­proof mate­rial and does not relea­se harm­ful subs­tances. As a fra­me mate­rial, conc­re­te is also sui­table for lar­ge struc­tu­res that are in con­tact with water or soil. Even more often than in buil­ding con­struc­tion, conc­re­te is used in infra­struc­tu­re con­struc­tion such as in the manu­fac­tu­re of tun­nels, brid­ges or pipelines. 

Conc­re­te is made of water, cement and aggre­ga­te, ie comple­te­ly out of natu­ral mate­rials, which at the same time makes it a good but eco­lo­gical­ly unsus­tai­nable pro­duct. The bin­der, cement is main­ly made from limes­to­ne by bur­ning, which con­su­mes a lot of ener­gy and also gene­ra­tes a con­si­de­rable amount of car­bon dioxi­de in the process. Ordi­na­ry drin­king water is sui­table for the pro­duc­tion of conc­re­te, the use of which is alrea­dy proble­ma­tic in itself. Aggre­ga­te is the main mate­rial of conc­re­te and can be crus­hed, natu­ral gra­vel or natu­ral sand. The abo­ve-men­tio­ned mate­rials are avai­lable almost inde­fi­ni­te­ly, but sand, for example, has beco­me the world’s second most sought-after natu­ral resource. In the pro­duc­tion of conc­re­te, the raw mate­rials first have to be procu­red up to the other side of the glo­be, and only then is the finis­hed conc­re­te mass trans­fer­red to the con­struc­tion site. This move­ment natu­ral­ly causes a lot of traf­fic emis­sions that pol­lu­te the environment. 

Howe­ver, from an envi­ron­men­tal point of view, the envi­ron­men­tal impact of conc­re­te as a buil­ding mate­rial should be con­si­de­red throug­hout the life cycle of the buil­ding, focusing on two aspects: 

What is the ener­gy con­sump­tion during the life cycle of the building? 

How have natu­ral resources been used and is the amount of was­te minimized? 

Pic­tu­re: Jose­fii­na / Tri­fa­mi 3D

It is pos­sible to recycle the conc­re­te comple­te­ly. In addi­tion, crus­hed conc­re­te, ie recycled conc­re­te or surplus conc­re­te, can be used as the aggre­ga­te for new conc­re­te. In the past, crus­hed conc­re­te has been used main­ly for the pro­duc­tion of conc­re­te for civil engi­nee­ring, but it is also known to be sui­table for buil­ding con­struc­tion. The long ser­vice life of the conc­re­te buil­ding, good ener­gy eco­no­my and recycla­bi­li­ty of mate­rials, as well as car­bon seque­stra­tion, also com­pen­sa­tes for the emis­sions caused by the con­struc­tion phase. 

At the same time as the pro­duc­tion of vir­gin conc­re­te puts an unrea­so­nable bur­den on the earth, vio­lent natu­ral phe­no­me­na such as earthqua­kes and floods are cons­tant­ly inc­rea­sing and often the only tech­nical­ly sus­tai­nable solu­tion remains conc­re­te con­struc­tion. Conc­re­te is not as bad as its manu­fac­tu­ring process - it is still one of the most impor­tant buil­ding mate­rials with a lot of good pro­per­ties. From a circu­lar eco­no­my pers­pec­ti­ve, the use of recycled pro­ducts in par­ticu­lar plays an impor­tant role in con­struc­tion: they save natu­ral resources, reduce was­te and reduce cli­ma­te emis­sions. At the moment, the most impor­tant thing is to deve­lop the pro­duc­tion of conc­re­te and conc­re­te con­struc­tion in the most sus­tai­nable and eco­lo­gical­ly efficient way possible. 

Read more about this topic: 

Conc­re­te Industry Associa­tion’s web­si­te 

The­sis: Uti­liza­tion of crus­hed conc­re­te as recycled aggre­ga­te in conc­re­te (Nie­mi­nen, A-M., 2015) 

The­sis: Was­te or lost poten­tial ?: reuse of conc­re­te was­te (Aal­to­nen, S., 2019) 

Migration as the shaper of the future

Migra­tion refers to the per­ma­nent move­ment of a popu­la­tion from one area to anot­her. People have always moved - wit­hout them, the earth would not have been comple­te­ly inha­bi­ted. Popu­la­tion moves both wit­hin sta­tes and across borders. 

It is impos­sible to dis­mant­le the many causes of migra­tion, but it is simply bro­ken down that the­re are fac­tors behind migra­tion from the region of depar­tu­re and, con­sequent­ly, the­re are temp­ting fac­tors on the region of ent­ry. Under­lying idea behind migra­tion is often the idea, that the tar­get region has more oppor­tu­ni­ties to impro­ve the qua­li­ty of life. This is done, for example, through the workplace or stu­dies. Social fac­tors also have a sig­ni­ficant impact on an individual’s migra­tion deci­sions. It is often felt that the­re is the grea­test poten­tial for impro­ving the qua­li­ty of life in cities whe­re the stron­gest migra­tion stream has long been directed. 

Pic­tu­re: Pixabay

Urba­niza­tion is a glo­bal­ly sig­ni­ficant phe­no­me­non. Urba­niza­tion refers to a social process in which the popu­la­tion living in cities is growing. It is pro­jec­ted that glo­bal­ly, two-thirds of all people will live in cities by 2030. The degree of urba­niza­tion in Fin­land is esti­ma­ted to be as high as 86%. Urba­niza­tion also has its down­si­des: in deve­lo­ping count­ries, for example, infra­struc­tu­re can­not car­ry a migra­ting popu­la­tion, ins­tead slums are built around the cities. In Fin­land, for example, urba­niza­tion is causing rural areas deser­ti­fica­tion. For indi­vi­duals, urba­niza­tion causes housing traps in the housing mar­ket, which we have writ­ten about ear­lier in our blog. It is esti­ma­ted that in 20 years the­re will be only three growing urban areas in Fin­land: Hel­sin­ki, Tur­ku and Tampere. 

Migra­tion can also be caused, for example, by unin­ha­bi­table areas in for­mer resi­den­tial areas, which can be the result of, for example, sud­den natu­ral disas­ters. Such sud­den chan­ges, at worst, destroy the homes of thousands of people in an ins­tant. In such a situa­tion, it must be pos­sible to pro­duce affor­dable housing quickly. Tri­fa­mi 3D tech­no­lo­gy would be an excel­lent addi­tion to meet such demand, and in some cases the solu­tion could even alle­via­te migra­tion pres­su­re. In any case, the­re will always be migra­tion and it is impor­tant to be able to pro­duce eco­lo­gical and affor­dable housing in the migra­tion areas. 

For this problem too, the 3D prin­ting of conc­re­te is the solu­tion for the future.