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A:. Questions relating to the possibilities and properties of fibre cement


A1. Molding/Curing
A1.1 During which part of the manufacturing process are the corrugated sheets formed, does it need a mold?
The corrugated roofing products are molded when the boards are fresh and wet - before curing. A mold is used.

A1.2 Are the boards totally hard or still flexible after manufactuing? Is itpossible to curve ready-made boards?
The ready boards are rigid and hard, but because they are usually only 8 mm thick they can be bent to form certain curvature. Usually it is possible to bend 8 mm boards to form a radius of 7 meters. As the boards are maximum 3.05 m long, the angle would be max 25°.Do not bend the boards to a smaller radius as this will cause harm or breakage to the boards.

A1.3 Is it possible to make bendings for the pressed board during the curing process? if so, what is the minimum/maximum bending radius? If manufactured for example 1.5m x 1.5m size board; is it possible to bend it from the middle to create a 90° corner?
In principle it is possible to bend wet fibre cement before curing. When you bend a fresh uncured board onto a mold you can make for instance a 90° corner as long as the bend is soft and not sharp. E.g. roof ridges are made by hand-molding uncured/wet fibre cement.

A1.4 Is it possible to bend fibre-cement boards? If yes what is the maximum angle?
See answer A1.2

A1.5 Is it possible to produce other forms than plane sheets by Cembrit?E.g. can you extrude different kinds of profiles or tubes?
In principle it is possible to produce also other forms than flat and even boards. But Cembrit is not doing this at the moment.

A2. Surface/texture
A2.1 How is the texture produced in your wood-like product, HardiePlank? Is a mold used? Is it possible to create surface patterns/structures during the pressing process? or in which stage of the production process can the patter be made?
Texture and patterns can be added to the uncured fibre cement by using a mold or to the cured board by using CNC cutting, sanding and other manipulation. The wood textures in the HardiePlank products are created with a mold.

A2.2 Does both sides of the even boards have equal surface quality?
The even boards have a back and front side. The front side will be more even and smooth.

A2.3 Is it possible to create non-constant, random colour shades using iron oxides or pigments? We are thinking of much more evident colour irregularities than the nuances of Cembrit True.
It would be possible to do this both when surface treating the cured board or by mixing ingredients in the slurry when manufacturing the board.

A3.Size/thickness
A3.1 Does the Cembrit boards have a fixed sizes? Is it possible to propose othersizes?
There are certain standard sizes available. The maximum standard dimensions are: width 1250 mm, length 3050 mm. But after curing, the board can be cut in any size and shape. Rectangular pieces of any size are easy and readily available, while other shapes need to be produced on a CNC line.

A3.2 Is it possibleto amplify the material thickness of 8 mm, using the same manufacturing system?
The manufacturing method allows us to produce fibre-cement boards with a thickness from 3.2 mm to 15 mm. The thickness in one board must be the same over the entire area of the board. However, you can use the CNC line to remove material from a thicker board, if you want to create certain structures on the surface of the board.

A3.3 What is the maximum board size? What is the maximum board size vs. thickness? What is the minimum board size, can pieces of e.g. 100 mm x 100 mm be made?
The maximum standard size is: width 1250 mm, length 3050 mm. Our production method is able to produce facade boards that have a thickness from 3.2 mm to 12 mm. We can cut the large board to smaller pieces e.g.100 x 100 mm.The smallest pieces we have produced so far are 40 x 120 mm and 50 x 50 mm.

A3.4 Can the bi-dimensionality of the fibre-cement elements exceed the limits imposed by 3050 x 1200 x 8 mm?
The maximum standard for a wet fibre-cement board is: width 1250 mm, length 3050 mm, but it is possible to manufacture up to 1260 x 3090 mm.

A4. Installation
A4.1 Can the Cembrit fibre-cement boards be used directly as skeleton /structure/or does it need some kind of special construction?
No – fibre-cement boards must not be used as a load bearing component in contructions.

A4.2 Could new solutions be studied to avoid visible screw heads on the finished fibre-cement boards (obviously using a clearly increased material thickness)?
Yes. But be aware that systems for that purpose have already been developed:

1. Cembrit Flow System for installation without any visible screws.
2. Special anchoring system, like Keil, specifically designed to be used with aluminium sub-construction in facades and cladding.
3. Glue and adhesives systems to install the boards to timber, steel or aluminium sub-constructions.

But still ideas for other competitive and innovative ways of invisible fixing are welcome. The area is very relevant.

A5. Miscellaneous
A5.1 Is it possible to manufacture double-curved surfaces? If so, what is the approximate maximum height of the form?
In principle yes, but in practice we do not have the necessary facilities to do this.

A5.2 How sharp edges can be made, without the corners breaking? E.g. 30 degree?
In priciple you can make a tube from fibre cement (360 degrees) but no sharp bends

A5.3 Has there already been calculated a typical proportion between material per square meter and material thickness?
The cladding boards are 8 mm thick. Tables about the necessary number and distance of screws and rivets versus expected wind load do exist.

A5.4 Is it possible to consider three-dimensional typologies using the same type of fibre cement?
Yes, you can design three dimensional topologies constructed with flat boards.

A5.5 Does the boards break easily, how much weight can it take?
No, it does not break easily provided that you have the right sub-construction supporting the board from behind. For instance if you design cladding for school yards, it is advisable to add extra support behind the boards: instead of 600 mm frame spacing use 300 mm spacing in the lowermost row of the cladding.


B: Questions related to what material to hand in

B1.1 If "Yes", in order to secure more "space" for them /3A2 = 12A4 only/ , could the explanatory 1A4 note be a separate sheet and 3D/2D visualisations to be substantially reduced?
3 x A2 and the separate description on 1 x A4 are the maximum space for the proposals. We expect the proposals to be A2 sized papers, not 4 x A3.

B1.2 Can the A2 print outs, also be fixed onto foam boards?
Yes, we hope that the printouts are fixed onto hardboards (KAPA mount/foam board or similar).

B2. Scale
B2.1 It is very difficult to show e.g. a facade design in 1/20 on A2 format. Do we have to stick to this scale? (Ee.g. "arrival car").
The scale for projections can be 1:5, 1:20, 1:50 according to the place.

B2.2 In the competition brief, 4.1 Required documents part, you have mentioned that projections in scale 1/20 are required. I would like to confirm whether this scale is needed for all 2D drawings or just for the system section details.
This scale is provided for clarity between the entries in the jury process. Alternative scales can be used based upon the proposal (1:5, 1:20, 1:50). Details can also be presented with appropriate scale, if necessary.

B2.3 Paragraph 4.1 Required documents “projections in scale 1/20” What exactly do you mean by that? Plans? Elevations? The scale is 1/20 in inches? Or in centimeters?
See answers above.


C: Questions relating to the scope or concept of the competition

C1.1 Do you expect the participants to focus on urban furniture or can it be architecture?
Both are welcome. The main purpose of the competition is not to seek new buildings, etc. but for solutions which can be broadly used in contexts like Malmi station area. The entry can be a concept level proposal that can be applied to several areas.

C1.2 Is it OK to design urban furniture products and items that necessarily go together with all the 5 means of transport? (If "Yes", in order to secure more "space" for them /3A2 = 12A4 only/, could the explanatory
1 A4 note be a separate sheet and 3D/2D visualisations to be substantially reduced?)

The proposal should on a conceptual level address at least three of the Arrival means (by train, bus, car, bicycle, foot). The solutions can be derived from the conceptual level to solutions that are only applicable in one of the means. One entry would then comprise one conceptual level idea and at least three solutions.
3 x A2 and the separate description on 1 x A4 are the maximum space for the proposals. We expect the proposals to be A2 sized papers, not 4 x A3.

C1.3 Are we expected to design new architecture in the chosen sites (arrival by bus, by train, by car,etc.)?
The main purpose is not to propose new architecture, but if a specific application requires a new building or structure this can be proposed. However, the main emphasis should not be on structures and realisation of such a new building. The purpose and use of a new building can be part of the proposal.

C1.4 Is it allowed to make changes in the current station's building (shouldn’t we also be provided with the station's plans and architectural documents?)
The competition entries should be on an idea level. Changing the existing buildings radically is typically challenging and is outside the scope of this competition. However, surfaces, facades, entries into buildings, etc. can be addressed. Visual and verbal explanations using 2D or 3D drawings or picture manipulation can illustrate these possibilities, but the focus is not to provide detailed structural drawings.

C1.5 The objective of the competition is not evident fromFthe competition brief. We can design new structure?
See answer C1.3.

C1.6 The competition brief is an inspiring one. However, there's a lack of description regarding the true scope of design work. As far as I can see, this competition is not about complete overhaul of the 'Malmi station' by proposing new design. It appears to me more of partial interventions for five different access routes without touching the main concourse space in the middle of the 'Malmi station'. Please provide rather more specific description of the expected outcome from the contestants....
The transit environments are a challenging complex system with various users, several owners and limited ability of a single player to drive changes. When successful, the partial interventions can provide substantial improvements in the overall user experience while travelling through the transit area. An inventive solution can find synergies between the partial interventions and increase the total impact.

C1.7 Would the competition winner be appointed to carry out the project?
See 3.5 Right to Use the Competition Proposals in the Competition Brief. Cembrit will consider the possibility for cooperation with the competition entrants and winners. The cooperation will probably aim to develop commercial products based upon the proposals. These will be negotiated separately between the entrants and Cembrit.

C1.8 To put it short, are we expected to improve the existing surfaces (only by using Cembrit products) — or to design completely new environments, ie. finding new ways to move your bicycle around the station area, reduce the noise of bypassing trains, or solve other problems in the Malmi station area. There are many interesting things that you can do, but also many things that you cannot do just by improving the surfaces.
Existing Cembrit products do not need to be used as such in the entries. The basic idea of using fibre cement as cladding should be taken further from the commercial products on the market, resulting in benefits like the ones mentioned in the question. The scope of the competition is on solutions that are based on solutions using fibre cement; it is evident that all problems cannot be solved within this competition.

C1.9 The proposals should only implement the installation of fibre cement? The same question applies to the other application areas?
Fibre cement should be the predominant material used in the proposal. Other materials can be used in addition.

C1.10 Should the proposals in the “arrival by train” application area, include the sub-construction for the fibre cement?
The proposal can focus on the finished surface or similar.

C1.11 Should the proposals implement the total makeover of the Malmi transit station, with solutions to all the application areas, so that the entries create something unique and experiential, that will be a landmark as well?
The overall concept level proposal should radically improve the user experience of the transit area. The increased quality of the transit area will function as a means to make the place in question a landmark; i.e. the competition entry does not have to function as a landmark by itself.

C1.12 The competition entry should be at a “concept level idea” level of surface installations of fibre cement to the application areas? Or should a participant provide a solution for the functional (transit and communing) experience in an urban level?
The concept level idea can be opened up in the application examples (Arrival by various means). A good proposal has a sound concept level idea and has the potential to be commercially applied in the context described.


D: Questions related to the case "Malmi Station Area"

D1.1 Is it possible to demolish buildings in the nearby of the station, giving the same function to a different space assignment? If yes to demolish, which buildings?
What is the use of the surrounding buildings? Which are residential? Which are commercial? Etc.
(**) Competition entries can suggest modifications on current structures. However, any buildings should not be demolished. See answers C1.3 and C1.4 above.

(¤¤) The use of each building is indicated in the map provided. The text is in Finnish, so we have produced an additional document translating the building types on the map provided. Link to PDF

D1.2 What is the project budget?
This is an open ideas level design competition, so there is no ready budget for the realisation. Entrants are free to give ideas, but they should consider what is arguable in public spaces. See answer C1.7 above.

D1.3 Arrival by train: Can open shelters be covered or modified in any way? Can the staircase be changed or modified?
(**) (see answer D1.1 above).
D1.4 Arrival by bus: Can the existing shelter be replaced by a new one?
(**) (see answer D1.1 above).
D1.5 Arrival by car: Can the facade of the car park be modified? Could you provide the elevation view of the facade?
(**) (see answer D1.1 above).
(##) Any detailed plans of current buildings or other structures are not provided. Competition entries should be a concept level idea that is applied to predefined areas within the Malmi station area. (see also: 1.2 on the competition brief)

D1.6 What is the area of deployment, and which buildings are be changed. Furthermore, is it possible to redesign the urban area?
** (see answer D1.1 above).

D1.7 Must the substructure of the bus terminal area stay the same?
** (see answer D1.1 above).


E: Questions related to competition material (data information provided)

E1.1 Shouldn’t we also be provided with the station's plans and architectural documents? Because I noticed in the competition’s brief that new commercial spaces are to be added to the current functions of the station (1.1 Background to the assignment), and we have only one CAD formatted site plan of the area which is not quite enough to consider architectural modification in the area.
(##) (see answer D1.5 above).

E1.2 Is there any electronic file in dwg format of the buildings of the station in order to work on them? Or do we only have the area map in the website?
(##) (see answer D1.5 above).

E1.3 Can you provide more detailed maps of the area?
(##) (see answer D1.5 above).

E1.4 Could we receive layout plans of all the buildings belonging or serving the train station? This will enable a competent analysis of the situation.
(##) (see answer D1.5 above).

E1.5 Do you have the data about number of cars, buses, trains, and bicycles, which pass through the station daily?
We have produced an additional document giving more data about traffic flow in the area. Download PDF with traffic flow 

E1.6 Do you have the data about number of cars, buses and bicycles which are park near the station daily?
("") (see answer E1.5 above). Download PDF with traffic flow

E1.7 Do you have the data about number of buses and trains passengers that step in and out the station daily?
(##) (see answer E1.5 above). Download PDF with traffic flow

E1.8 Can you mention the function of the buildings nearby (surrounding) the bus and train station?
(¤¤) (see answer D1.1 above).

E1.9 Is there any limitation about building area and height for the new proposal?
Competition entry should be done on the area of the map provided. Main focus should be on the Malmi station transit area.
All structures on the area should be lower than +62 meters above sea level, due to safety of the Malmi airport nearby.

E1.10 What kind of buses and trains enter the station and is there any guideline for the space requirements?
Minimum free height for trains should be 7 meters. Buses need 4.5 meters of free height.

E1.11 Is there a 3D model of the area available, and if so, can the organisation of the competition provide it?
(##) (see answer D1.5 above).

E1.12 Can you give us the link to the Helsinski city plan document?
Helsinki City's Master Plan can be downloaded on the following site:
http://www.hel.fi/hki/ksv/en/Town+Planning/Master+Planning/Master+Plan+2002

E1.13 What is the meaning of the red arrows on the maps of the competition material (for example arrival by car)? Are those pointing the place one should focus on or is it just an example of the place one may focus on?
These are the places that are typical to each mean of arrival. They are actual places provided in the googlemaps.com street-views.


F: Questions about the rules for participation and registration

F1.1 Do we need to do any registration before submitting the proposal?
No – you do not have to register in advance. Simply follow the guidelines and deadlines for submittal that are described in the competition brief. (Request competition brief by filling out this form)

F1.2 What is the cost for participating?
There is no entry fee.

F1.3 Who can participate?
The competition is aimed at professional architects and designers, or students in these fields from all over the world. Participants can be individual persons or a teams. Composition of a team can be freely chosen and participating teams can include other experts if their knowledge is relevant to the proposal.
Participation to this competition is not open to persons mentioned in the SAFA/Ornamo competition rules.
Request competition brief for more details.

F1.4 Is the competition restricted to citizens / countries of the European Community? And if so, is it possible that non-EU citizens can be part of the design team?
No - the competition is not restricted to the European community we welcome entries from all over the world. See answer F1.3


G: Misc

G1.1 Is there any guidance for building design and development in line with Helsinski as World Design Capital 2012?
There are no detailed design guidance as such guides, but World Design Capital 2012 Helsinki has three themes and Bullhorn – Cembrit Design Competition has three evaluation criteria that can be used as guidance in the design process.
World Design Capital themes
Bullhorn – Cembrit Design Competition evaluation criteria

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Minna Kaipainen - Competition moderator

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