City of Helsinki - 720°
City of Helsinki

City of Helsinki

The City of Helsinki introduced the 720° indoor air quality monitoring at the Töölö library and the Roihuvuori primary school. Indoor climate monitoring ensures the attainment of targets set for the indoor climate, the functioning of the building engineering and the development of the conditions based on user experiences.

The Töölö library and the Roihuvuori primary school were renovated in 2016, and following the renovation monitoring is in place to ensure that the quality targets set for indoor air are met.

– The targets set for the indoor air of a property must be attained during the first years of taking the property into use, says City of Helsinki’s Marianna Tuomainen. Specialised in indoor air matters, Tuomainen works as the leading expert in the management service for properties owned by the City.

Both buildings have their own special characteristics, and the 720° monitoring allows for the required additional information of the conditions to be collected. In this way, adjustments impacting the indoor climate can be made more accurately than before.

In the two-storey reading room of the Töölö library, heat exceptionally radiates from the ceiling. The building features large windows typical of a building completed at the turn of the 1960’s and 1970’s, which entails that the sun has a major impact on the indoor temperature in the spring and summer.

– We were assuming that in cold weather, the space would have rather been too cool, but through the 720° indoor air monitoring we received user feedback that the air felt stuffy. A more detailed examination revealed that in severe sub-zero temperatures it had even been excessively warm indoors. The sensation of stuffiness was easy to relate to the temperature, so we made the requisite adjustments to correct the situation, Tuomainen reports.

The Roihuvuori primary school, on the other hand, has in place demand-controlled ventilation, functioning depending upon user volumes. A monitoring of how ventilation impacts indoor air quality is being conducted there. Furthermore, a measuring of particulates and of volatile organic compounds (VOC) supplements the data collected by the building automation.

User feedback cuts response time to improve conditions

Tuomainen says that the user of the space should be able to focus on their work. Solving indoor air problems and any feedback received regarding same is the task of the property maintenance experts.

The feedback received from the property users expedites the carrying out of the requisite adjustments and the timely intervention regarding any shortcomings in indoor air.

– If users first reported their experiences within their own organisation, they would most likely be waiting on someone’s desk before we would obtain the information for our use. Instead of days, the users would be working in non-optimal conditions for weeks or even months.

At the City of Helsinki, the new monitoring system has also prompted discussion of how the information and user feedback from the system could be utilised as effectively as possible.

– We are getting a great deal of useful information about the indoor air conditions of properties. We still need to learn, however, how as many as possible of those servicing and managing properties could utilise the analytics as a tool in their own work, says Tuomainen.

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