Underground streams, frost, and happy neighbours: Nielshenrik loves the unpredictable refurbishments

A lot of people are uncomfortable making quick decisions under pressure. But that is not the case for project manager Nielshenrik Svenstrup. In fact, he feels far from uncomfortable.

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“I love refurbishment because we make here-and-now decisions every day. I feel really good about that. When we renovate a lot of apartments at once we need to do some pretty intense flows. We also need a clear structure for the execution of each stage. It's never an option to stand still just because a closet is placed differently in nr. 17 or because it's difficult to pass the waste pipe in nr. 36. We need to move on and that means constantly being ready to act.”

The words are project manager Nielshenrik Svenstrup’s.
In 2021 he is celebrating his 10-year anniversary in MT Højgaard Danmark. He started out here as an intern on the building project Landbo Midtøst. In the last five years Nielshenrik has spent most of his time on the refurbishment of a housing in Åbyhøjgård in Aarhus.

“Åbyhøjgård has entailed a lot of constructional challenges. That’s the way it always is with refurbishments. At one point we had to deal with an underground stream running right under where we were building an elevator shaft. To cast the shaft, we made a welded steal frame which we pushed down. We built the formwork inside of the steal frame while we pumped away water. That gave us peace to work so we could cast the bottom of the shaft.”

We recently handed over a refurbished youth housing consisting of 18 apartments. During the refurbishment the continuous frost created a new challenge that Nielshenrik and the team needed to solve.

“We were handing over the housing on the first of March and the residents were moving in on the 15th. But we had a lot of frost in January and February. That meant that we couldn’t make the front access level as required. The frost also meant that we couldn’t make the balcony on the first floor. To solve the problem, we had an excavator come and move half a meter of the frozen ground. After that we placed new gravel which we kept warm with winter mats. That meant that we were able to finish on time.”

Happy neighbours are worth gold

Our employees work next to people’s homes when they refurbish apartments. Nielshenrik thrives with the close contact that entails.

“I really feel the joy when we’ve finished a leg of a refurbishment and the residents move in. They come over and say hello and we really enjoy that. On Åbyhøjgård our refurbishment team has gotten a special relationship with a woman who lives on the ground floor. If a supplier has arrived with a delivery before 7 a.m. she has sometimes stuck her head out of the window to tell them where to put it. That kind of help is worth gold."

Strong constructional skills

Nielshenrik is a trained machine operator, roofer, and constructing architect and his professional competencies are emphasised by his colleague Emil Vester Larson.

“He’s not someone who attracts a lot of attention. But he's a kind colleague who is very strong technically and can make quick decisions about almost every problem on a project.”

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