Join a leading Smart Building Ecosystem in Helsinki
Discover, pilot, and develop smart building solutions in an agile and enthusiastic environment.
Did you know that Helsinki was ranked #2 in Smart City Index in 2020? Smart City development creates the basis for smart building solutions and technologies. You and your business can now benefit from the expertise of the ambitious and multidisciplinary smart building ecosystem in Helsinki.
City of Helsinki offers you an access to real-life test beds and opens opportunities to collaborate with public and private partners. You can also find state of the art products and solutions by several companies, ranging from design to the life cycle management of buildings.
Helsinki Business Hub will help you find your way in the city. Our business advisors guide you to business opportunities and match you to the right partners in business and R&D, and give advice on all practical matters. Contact us today – all our services are free of charge.
Collaborating with HBH has been extremely rewarding experience for us at IPI. Their strong access to an extensive range of emerging technologies and start-ups in Finland, coupled with a strong commitment to foster collaborations has contributed to the success of our co-organised technology matching events relating in the built environment over the years.
Good design and carefully selected construction materials lay the foundation for sustainability and successful life cycle management of a smart building. Implementing energy efficient solutions from the beginning can significantly reduce the life cycle costs of a building. Therefore, modern builders carefully select the materials in use – not forgetting reused and circulated materials – and install smart sensor networks for ventilation and lighting control.
Moreover, collaborative design methods allow future users to get involved and bring their insight into the planning process. The benefits of this kind of citizen engagement has been noted in Helsinki, and it is given special attention. Builders also benefit from the approach: residents find life-simplifying, sustainable and time-saving solutions in services, transport, and parking attractive, so holistically designed built environments are both cost-effective
and in high demand.
Naturally, innovative materials are an inseparable part of the built environment. Environmentally friendly, recyclable, and reusable materials have solidified their status in Finland, and industries realize the benefits not only for the environment but also for the company brand and the economy at large.
Some of the innovative Finnish solutions include a concrete-like construction material that is made out of industry side streams, and a natural, ecological thermal insulation product.
The support from the Finnish Government and City of Helsinki and increasing common interest towards circular economy open a wide variety of opportunities in design and reuse of both old and new materials in Helsinki.
Skilled labor tipped the scale in Finland’s favor. It has one of the best education systems in the world and lots of people with college degrees. After choosing Finland, Helsinki was the ideal city for us because it’s so well connected and has a large talent pool.
A construction site can also be the spot for building digital solutions. The myriad of phases, processes and services involved in construction can be streamlined through digitization and technologies such as VR, AR, IoT, robotics, and simulations.
Examples of the technologies and solutions include space-sharing platforms, an AI-driven tool for property valuation and technical risk assessment, a VR-based real-time 3D model to aid design and construction, and solutions for scheduling tower cranes and controlling material flow at construction sites.
Digital tools utilize the extensive open data and analytics available in Finland. For example, Jätkäsaari Smart Junction project generates open data for all innovators to use. Finland was also the first country to distribute smart meters to all residential customers.
I came to look for technologies and design solutions for smart buildings [from Finland]. And I found what I was looking for.
We spend almost 90% of our time indoors – homes, work places, offices, schools, shopping centres, and other facilities. Therefore, improving indoor air quality (IAQ) is one of the most efficient ways to enhance people’s health and well-being.
Finnish innovations towards better IAQ include HVAC systems, sensors, IAQ monitoring systems, different filter technologies, and even decontamination solutions. All of these technologies are needed to achieve good and healthy indoor air.
Because of COVID-19, filtration and purification technologies for bacteria and viruses play a critical role. The technologies are part of the daily operations in hospitals, but today they are needed in other environments as well. New Finnish innovations, e.g. portable decontamination units, ensure a bacteria- and virus-free environment.
The pandemic has also raised a lot of attention towards aerosol spreading inside buildings. There are currently different Finnish R&D groups working on this topic, and they are also interested in international cooperation.
Finland has the largest energy cluster in northern Europe. Solutions for energy efficiency – especially heating, cooling, and ventilation – interest the Finnish smart building ecosystem. The country is also the first one to distribute smart meters to all residential customers. The overall use of renewable energy and solar panels in buildings is growing.
Small steps are also taken in the built environment where demand-controlled ventilation is used. Moreover, many facilities are equipped with smart lighting that adjust to the availability of daylight, so the lights are only used when needed.
Sustainability – both environmental, social, and financial – is one of the cornerstones of smart building. As old-school sustainable practices are becoming mainstream, new complementary trends emerge to inspire innovators. These trends include energy efficiency, zero waste, carbon neutrality, and circular economy. Helsinki supports piloting and testing of new innovative tools to promote building sustainability.
It is very important for us that our products are made in Finland because Finland and Finnish standards have such a good reputation on the international market.
Helsinki offers the City as a platform for companies who wish to develop and pilot smart building solutions in real-life settings. Moreover, companies have access to an exceptional pool of open data, which has been accumulated in different areas of the Finnish society. Publishing data sources for all interested parties to use is a unique approach that Helsinki has chosen to take to support innovation. For an example of data visualization and usage, watch this video about Helsinki Energy and Climate Atlas.
Furthermore, the whole ecosystem from citizens to cities and from companies to government eagerly collaborate to develop and pilot smart building solutions. Below, we’ve listed six examples of innovation platforms, all with their own focus areas, in Greater Helsinki. Visit also the Testbed Helsinki for Built Environment for information about new piloting platforms and collaboration with the City of Helsinki.
Jätkäsaari Mobility Lab enables tests and pilots in an urban environment and operation with a strong network of partners. Jätkäsaari is a new and growing housing district near central Helsinki.
Smart Kalasatama is a vivid Smart City experimental innovation platform. The area is developed flexibly through pilot projects of smart and clean urban infrastructure and services.
Pasila is a transportation hub and thereby an excellent future location for new jobs and residents. Moreover, Pasila will be a key district for further office construction in the upcoming years.
Smart Otaniemi is a living lab developing smart energy systems. The university campus combines pilots for smart energy, buildings, mobility, and energy storage.
Bioruukki is a unique piloting and scaling place for energy, bio and circular economy.
Indoor Air Quality Ecosystem is an active cooperation platform for indoor air companies. It focuses on the health impacts of clean indoor air and the high expertise of Finnish companies.
Visit iaqe.fi/ for more information.
KIRAHub is one of the key players in promoting the sustainable digitalisation of the built environment sector in Finland. This non-profit association is the successor of KIRA-digi, a project aimed at boosting digital transformation within the real estate and construction sector in Finland.
Visit kirahub.org for more information and listen to this podcast episode where we discuss agile piloting with the organization.
IPI is an innovation catalyst that creates opportunities for enterprises to grow beyond boundaries.
The partnership of HBH and IPI facilitates the creation of business opportunities between Finnish and Singaporean companies.
Visit ipi-singapore.org for more information.