Cities, businesses and research institutes developed solutions and operating models that improve indoor air quality, provide good indoor air and enable its provision as a service. Measurements and new methods increased the understanding of what good indoor air consists of.
In the three-year change project, cities, businesses and research institutes developed the Good Indoor Air as a Service concept. Air quality measurements were made in the Helsinki metropolitan area using sensors in over 20 buildings. At the same time, research was conducted on how people perceive air quality. The new way of collecting data enables the creation of good indoor air criteria in the near future. The project’s solutions were developed in 20–30 new or renovated buildings in Espoo, Helsinki and Vantaa.
“From January onwards we’ll continue developing the criteria in a separate project. We get to utilise the existing data from our Smart & Clean buildings”, says the City of Helsinki’s Indoor Air Quality Engineer Marianna Tuomainen.
The project gave rise to a sensor and feedback infrastructure, which produces data that can be delivered to shared or city-specific service platforms. After the change project has ended, the air quality sensors will remain in a large part of the buildings. Functional measurement tools and methods, as well as defining the criteria, provided a better understanding of the components of good indoor air and indoor air conditions, and measurements will be continued in the future.
“The Internet of Things sensors measure those indoor air factors that haven’t been emphasized enough in recent discussions about humidity and mildew in buildings. The sensors provide real time and continuous data on for example room temperature,” Tuomainen explains. Room temperature has a more significant effect on individuals’ ability to work and wellbeing than previously thought, she continues.
Understanding indoor air quality factors makes it easier and cheaper to obtain, produce and maintain good indoor air. Property users can set quality standards for indoor air, or the property maintenance company can provide good indoor air in the same way as energy efficiency is currently being sold. Furthermore, open research data generates new business.