Teamwork is key in the development of a new module factory

Kiilto’s waterproofing and tiling system products guarantee a uniform result in the production process of SSA Rakennus Oy, which manufactures bathroom modules. Kiilto and SSA have been collaborating for years, innovating and implementing new working methods and practical steps improving the modular products. Modular construction, which minimises material wastage, is a step towards more sustainable construction – an important goal to both SSA and Kiilto.

SSA’s modular construction unit has been operating in new production facilities in Vantaa, Finland, since last December. SSA started manufacturing bathroom modules in 2019, and while the growing business required larger production facilities, the company got the chance to design a new factory that would meet the needs of module production perfectly.

Sampo Päkkilä, the manager of the module factory, says that the smoothness of the overall process is increasingly important, while the work steps are being planned more and more carefully. The production methods used at the factory have been established through experience. While building new, it has been a great asset to have a cooperative material supplier nearby.

 “It’s nice to have familiar faces at Kiilto, as it helps build a strong collaborative relationship and makes interaction easy. A familiar supplier is easier to trust than one that only wants to send the goods without any further discussion. That kind of a supplier would remain distant and anonymous,” comments Päkkilä.

Teamwork has helped gain new insights and develop both products and practices

While production has been growing, the modular product has improved a great deal along the way. Kiilto and SSA have been collaborating closely for years and come up together with numerous small improvements increasing end-product quality and facilitating work, such as improvements related to the fixing of waterproofing membrane and the last steps in the waterproofing process.

Kiilto’s extensive expertise in construction chemistry and industrial adhesives has helped optimise the results, and Kiilto’s R&D team has visited SSA’s production facility several times.

“At times, we’ve been developing new things almost like experimenting in a laboratory, but the collaboration has been fruitful, as Kiilto has always listened to our needs carefully and really put in the work,” says Päkkilä and smiles.

“We’ve also been learning new working methods, for example, in wet room qualification training, which Kiilto held as a service here on our premises. That’s a great example of good teamwork.”

High-quality building materials, suitable for a precise production process, are an essential part of modular construction

Using SSA modules streamlines construction planning and site operations. For the end user, the modules bring security. When a bathroom is built in controlled conditions, the quality is guaranteed to be high. Reliable building materials also contribute to the high quality and safety of the facilities.

SSA’s production process has been selected to include Kiilto’s tiling system and Kerasafe waterproofing system.

”The wet room certification process audited by KiWa Inspecta, including a water-tightness test carried out on the waterproofing system by Eurofins, convinced us of the high quality of Kiilto’s products. Particularly the water-tightness test on the waterproofing system related to the certification is very demanding with the spraying of hot and cold water, dynamic stress tests and 7-day immersion tests,” describes Päkkilä.

The water and vapour-tight foil in Kiilto’s Kerasafe waterproofing system is highly elastic and durable. The uniform foil as well as the inlet sealing and reinforcement sheet included in the system guarantee overall waterproofness for the entire lifetime of the bathroom. The Kerasafe system has a high crack-bridging ability. If a tile cracks or a single tile needs to be replaced afterwards, the tile can be replaced without breaking the waterproofing membrane.

Petteri Kiviniemi, supervisor of modular construction, says that particular care must be taken with the sealing installed between the base plate of the module and the wall. The installation of the Kerasafe foil and reinforcement sheet will be inspected and photographed once completed. The wet room certification of the modules also requires constant quality control. The work steps are photographed and documented, and the process is so careful that there are virtually no complaints.

“Having Kiilto’s products used in SSA’s modules also generates trust among SSA’s customers,” says Päkkilä.

“Kiilto is known as a strong Finnish supplier with high-quality products.”

Environmental values play a key role in the work of both SSA and Kiilto

SSA sees environmental criteria becoming increasingly prominent in the value choices made in the construction industry. A good example of sustainable construction is SSA’s Qiva modular concept, which minimises material wastage, reduces heat loss at construction sites and reduces construction-phase energy consumption and carbon footprint by over 50%.

Area Manager Daniel Hilli from Kiilto says that Kiilto’s Promise to the Environment is reflected in everything from raw material acquisition to customer service. For example, more than 50% of the packaging is made of recycled materials, including post-industrial recycled plastic, and this share keeps increasing annually.

In the future, environmental values are also likely to be reflected in the need for adaptable, multi-purpose building solutions, such as spaces that can be used as an office during the day and as a hotel at night. Apartments can, depending on stage of life, be transformed from studios to homes for families with children and accessible dwellings for the elderly. At SSA, Kiilto’s products are regarded as adaptable, and the extensive collaboration between the companies provides a sound basis for future development of products meeting market needs. New options are discussed thoroughly whenever necessary.

Just as the production of building modules, the making of adhesives tailored to customer needs and adapting to current requirements also take many competent professionals and smooth teamwork. Both SSA and Kiilto have great confidence in their work and the continuous sustainable development of their products.