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Good indoor air quality maintained with the Healthy House concept at Savo vocational colleges

Project

Healthy House quality assurance projects (Iisalmi, Kuopio, Siilinjärvi and Varkaus)

Carried out by

Sweco Expert Services Ltd

Commission

holistic indoor air quality control, incl. coordinating humidity control and cleanliness, ensuring a building’s adequate pressure differentials, air tightness and ventilation, and instructing the worksite organisation.

Construction year

2014–2022

Client

Savo Consortium for Education (SAKKY)

Good indoor air quality maintained with the Healthy House concept at Savo vocational colleges

Savo Consortium for Education (SAKKY) is responding to the problems with indoor air quality in the region’s schools by utilising the Healthy House concept, coordinated by Sweco. This collaboration will ensure that both new and renovated teaching facilities will be clean, healthy and safe for all users.

SAKKY has been implementing the Healthy House concept when renovating and constructing new schools since 2014. Old properties had indoor air problems, and therefore new school buildings in Iisalmi, Varkaus, Siilinjärvi and Kuopio are designed and constructed according to the Swan ecolabel requirements and the Healthy House concept.

‘This concept is a tool that helps us take the right things into account during the design phase,’ says developer Milla Lompola from SAKKY’s facility services unit. ‘We solve problems proactively to avoid them occurring at a worksite or a later stage, as fixing these would either mean additional costs or be completely impossible.’

New buildings are currently being constructed in Siilinjärvi and Kuopio, for example at Savilahti campus. In addition to that, some educational facilities have already been completed. ‘The new facilities have met the users’ high expectations, and we have received satisfied feedback about the buildings’ good indoor air quality.’

Clean indoor air is a sum of several elements

Sweco’s experts are responsible for comprehensively ensuring the high quality of indoor air in SAKKY’s educational facility projects. In addition to the legally required humidity control coordination, the joint operating model includes voluntary cleanliness control by the developer.

‘We also consider other factors affecting the indoor air quality, such as adequate structural density and correctly operating ventilation,’ says Sweco’s indoor air expert Ville Leinonen. ‘Fresh air is always filtered through a ventilation system – it never enters through the structures.’

All projects comply with the indoor climate target level of S2 or higher, which determines the design framework and the conditions during construction and use. By steering the planning process, monitoring projects and taking the quality targets into account in the works documents, a successful outcome can be ensured. Furthermore, the worksite organisations are trained at the sites. ‘Instructions, advice and cooperation are key,’ Leinonen emphasises.

In addition to this, SAKKY’s projects favour materials that comply with the Swan label and fixtures that do not release disturbing odours or other VOCs into indoor air. It is this multisectoral approach that guarantees healthy and safe facilities. ‘Indoor air problems are usually a sum of several elements, which makes it more difficult to fix the problems later,’ Leinonen says. ‘Preventing problems saves a significant amount of time and money.’

The Healthy House experts also help with structural planning

Sweco has also been in charge of the structural plans for educational institutions in Varkaus, Siilinjärvi and Kuopio. ‘When choosing the design solutions, we also talk a lot about humidity and cleanliness control,’ Leinonen says. ‘This allows the designers to take advantage of effective solutions at other locations too.’

Sweco will continue as SAKKY’s framework agreement partner in humidity and cleanliness control until 2022, by which time all the region’s educational operations will have moved to the new facilities. ‘Naturally, we would like to continue working with such good partners in the future as well, one way or another,’ Lompola says.

The collaboration has been ongoing for years, which makes daily interaction effortless. ‘We know each other on a personal level, and therefore everyone is aware of what the others can do and what their responsibilities include,’ Leinonen says, expressing his satisfaction.

Similarly, Lompola thinks that long-term cooperation with the same people is a benefit. ‘This allows the consultant to know what we want to promote and what sort of choices we want to make, saving us the trouble of explaining what is important to us at every location.’

SAKKY2
“SAKKY’s new school buildings are designed and constructed according to the Swan ecolabel.” – Milla Lompola, SAKKY
“This concept is a tool that helps us take the right things into account during the design phase.” – Milla Lompola, SAKKY
“We solve problems proactively to avoid them occurring at a worksite or a later stage, as fixing these would either mean additional costs or be completely impossible.” – Milla Lompola, SAKKY
“The new facilities have met the users’ high expectations, and we have received satisfied feedback about the buildings’ good indoor air quality.” – Milla Lompola, SAKKY
“This allows the consultant to know what we want to promote and what sort of choices we want to make, saving us the trouble of explaining what is important to us at every location.” – Milla Lompola, SAKKY
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