Puijo Tower is a well-known landmark in Kuopio. The current tower is the third observation tower on the site – the first wooden tower was built in the mid-1800s. The second brick tower was completed in 1906, and the current concrete tower was opened to the public in 1963.

The heating of Puijo Tower and the adjacent Puijo Lodge has been done with oil heating from the beginning. In 2019, Puijo Peak Oy, the new entrepreneur of the Puijo tourism area, started developing tourism in the Puijo nature reserve in a more environmentally friendly direction. The city’s carbon neutrality goals also supported the change in the heating system.

Kuopion Energia investigates renovation

Kuopion Energia, owned by the city of Kuopio, provides district heating and electricity to the city’s residents. The city of Kuopio asked Kuopion Energia to investigate various options for implementing more environmentally friendly heating for Puijo.

– We considered various heating options, including an industrial-scale air-to-water heat pump, but it would have required extensive construction in the protected area. Therefore, we jointly decided on the construction of district heating, says Petri Turtiainen, Development Manager of Kuopion Energia.

Connecting Puijo hill to district heating was not straightforward. The hill, which rises 150 meters above the surface of Lake Kallavesi and the tower that reaches over 220 meters, was too much for the district heating network running below. Thus, a heat transfer station had to be built near the intersection below, from which warm water continues its journey to the top of the hill.

3D Model Assistance

HögforsGST was chosen through a competitive bidding process as the equipment supplier for both the pumping station below and the heat distribution rooms above.

– We created 3D models of the heat distribution centers during the spatial planning, and because HögforsGST uses the same technology, we easily got ready-to-install systems. This significantly facilitated and sped up the installation work, as all the locations for the pipe penetrations were pre-dimensioned, Turtiainen explains.

3D design already during the bidding phase brought advantages both in terms of space usage and scheduling. The heat distribution centers were designed to be space-efficient, and HögforsGST was able to design the equipment based on preliminary plans, making installations smooth as the pipe connections were exactly where they needed to be.

“A perfect ten for this project”

– The actual project was completed over three and a half years. First, the pipes in the yard area and the parking lot were built, then the heat transfer station below. Finally, the pipes were buried, and in the fall of 2023, the new heating system was in use, Turtiainen recalls.

– I give HögforsGST a perfect ten for this project. Their quality is always guaranteed to be good, and we stayed on schedule. We are able to provide heat to Puijo and support its development, now and in the future,” Turtiainen concludes.