Leo Hakkarainen: “The energy efficiency of buildings should be developed under the conditions of indoor air”

Interview 14.03.2019

Nearly 40 percent of all energy used in Finland is consumed in buildings. Reducing unnecessary energy consumption also reduces the burden on the environment. There is a growing need for energy-smart buildings, and one of the people responding to this need is Nuuka Solution’s Project Manager Leo Hakkarainen.

Nuuka Solutions develops software that collects all the information about a building in one place for the customer, that is, in a browser-based building portfolio. For instance, data is collected on energy consumption, motion detection, indoor air and building service technology, which benefits everyone from the service technician to the property owner, Leo Hakkarainen explains.

“The building owner can quickly see from the reports created by Nuuka’s software how energy is consumed in the property and what its indoor air is like, up to a few minutes’ accuracy. You can see where people move most in the building and where and when the air should be changed. This lets the property’s energy efficiency be developed under the conditions of indoor air, for example.”

The City of Helsinki recently commissioned Nuuka Solutions to collect data on new indoor air sensors, among other things. The city was prompted to give the commission based on the Smart & Clean Indoor Air change project, in which cities, businesses and research institutes develop good indoor air as a service.

Reducing energy consumption with user data?

So far, building data has been collected from almost all sources except the users, says Hakkarainen. That is why he is particularly pleased with the City of Helsinki’s user surveys, which Nuuka Solutions collected data for and wrote a report on.

“People experience indoor air in different ways. For example, in the future we will ask the users of buildings what the indoor air temperature feels like and use the indoor air sensors to find out how the measured temperature corresponds to their experience”, Hakkarainen says. User surveys have been conducted in locations involved in the Smart & Clean Indoor Air change project. The report on the measurement results will be completed in the spring.  

There would be plenty of use for Nuuka Solutions’ software both in Finland and around the world. Energy is still being produced from fossil fuels, while at the same time energy consumption is growing globally. The cheapest energy is energy that is not used at all, Hakkarainen points out.

“If we could save even a few percent of the built environment’s energy consumption, it would have a big impact on the environment. Data collected in one place is a good place to start.”
In the future, this data can be used for machine learning and automated data analysis, for example.

As project manager, Leo Hakkarainen is changing the world by helping clients understand the data collected and develop their activities based on it.
“As an environmental engineer, I enjoy getting to be involved in developing a service that improves energy efficiency. Anyone who wants to make the world a better place in one way or another deserves thanks. Not all solutions change the world, but they teach their creators a lot and move the conversation forward.”