Irene Knutar managed the Building Project of the Year in 2014: The Karolinska Institute’s Aula Medica.
Four years ago, the now award-winning Aula Medica was a drawing with many question marks. Irene Knutar talks about the project's greatest challenges.
As Project Manager, I have HR responsibilities and am responsible for one or more parallel construction projects. Among other things, this entails ensuring that we reach our goals in terms of schedules, budgets, production methods, the work environment and environmental requirements.
I have had the privilege of working in several different positions. NCC is a large company with room to develop many skills.Irene Knutar
Aula Medica was a three-year project. As the Project Manager, I handled much of the communication with our partner and customer, Akademiska Hus. NCC was procured as the project contractor as early as the systems-design phase, when it was a considerable challenge to translate the design created by Wingårdh Arkitektkontor into a practically implementable construction.
The auditorium was to accommodate 1,000 people and the building site was small. Consequently, an outward-leaning building was designed, which gave it a 22-meter overhang. This imposed extremely stringent demands on the construction. The next major challenge was the glass façade. While a building frame must be able to move, a glass façade will crack if it is moved. The challenge here was to build a separate façade frame and connect it to the building's framework, without firmly anchoring them to each other.
It was great, particularly when considering the intense competition. I believe we won the prize because it was such a complex technical project. We had to invent new construction methods to complete the project.
Absolutely. I began as a surveyor's assistant following my graduation in 1995, setting out the locations of walls, holes and suchlike based on drawings. After this, I had the privilege of working in several different positions. NCC is a large company with room to develop many skills.
Title: Project Manager
Company: NCC Building Sweden
Education: Graduate engineer, Royal Institute of Technology, graduated in 1995.
My best sounding boards: My managers – they support me and allow me the space to raise issues.