HOPE: Health Optimisation Protocol for Energy-efficient Buildings
Pre-normative and socio-economic research to create healthy and energy efficient buildings

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Helsinki University of Technology (TKK)

Expertise and experience

Laboratory of Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning

The laboratory has performed research in the area of energy efficiency and indoor climate of buildings more than 20 years. The permanent personnel include two full professors, two research assistants, technical and secretarial staff. The total number of its personnel has varied between 20 and 30, depending on the number doctorate students and scientist working in the projects. The multidisciplinary research group in the laboratory has carried out several field studies with simultaneous measurements of building performance, human responses and indoor environment. Investigated buildings include 30 kindergartens, close to 500 residential buildings, more than 50 office buildings and 30 schools. Some of these studies have been cross sectional some experimental. The results from these studies have gained a lot of international attention, and affected international and national level on building codes, guidelines and standards. Many recent research areas relevant to the centre of excellence are such as d evelopment of Energy and indoor climate simulation programme IDA/ICE which is now most commonly used simulation programme in Nordic countries with 100 users in Finland 300 in Sweden. The research projects include several EU-projects in the area of indoor environment and building performance. Focus have been not only in mechanical systems of buildings but also in building physics and integration of building construction and mechanical systems including moisture and mould problems related to the structures and foundations of buildings, performance of residential ventilation, and performance criteria for energy efficient, healthy buildings.

The HVAC-laboratory at Helsinki University of Technology has modern instrumentation for field measurements, and excellent facilities for the calibration of instruments and experimental set ups. The laboratory has successfully contributed to several EU-projects in the area of indoor environment and energy efficiency and of buildings. Laboratory was co-organiser of international conferences Indoor Air 93 and Healthy Buildings 2000. Laboratory is also the founder of Finish Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate, and has been co-organiser of the National Indoor Climate Seminar since the year 1985, the number of participants in the seminar has grown during the years up to one thousand. The laboratory has also been involved in developing Finnish Classification of Indoor Climate 2000, Target Values, Design Guidance and Product Requirements. The laboratory participates actively in implementation of Energy Performance of Buildings Directive in Finland and participates CEN working groups to develop European standards for implementation European Directives, including calculation of Energy Performance and Indoor Environment.

Research projects:

  • Pollution From Ducts: What Is the Reason, How to Measure It And How to Prevent It?
  • The Effect of Ventilation Duct Material And Dust Accumulation of Perceived Supply Air Quality
  • Duct Cleanliness in New HVAC Installations
  • The Effect of End Units on Supply Air Quality
  • Crawl Space Moisture Control
  • The Effect on Indoor Comfort When Using Phase Change Materials With Building Concrete Products
  • European Data Base on Indoor Pollution Sources
  • Airless - Design, operation and Maintenance for AH-systems and Components for better IAQ and Energy)
  • Saveheat - Solar assisted natural ventilation with heatpipe heat recovery
  • Ecocool - Ecological cooling of buildings with closed cooling tower
  • Hope - Health Optimisation Protocol for Energy-Efficient Buildings
Key persons

Professor Olli Seppänen is the head of the Institute of Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning at Helsinki University of Technology, Finland. He has worked more than 25 years in research projects dealing with indoor environment and performance. He has supervised of close to 200 Master´s Thesis and 20 PhD-level thesis. He has authored five university level text books and published more than 250 scientific and technical papers. He is also a member of editorial board of scientific journal International Journal of Indoor Environment and Health, which had the highest impact factor of all scientific journals in the building sector. He is also member of editorial board of international journal of Ventilation.

Professor Seppänen is founding member of international scientific organisation International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate and Air Conditioning, and its former President (1994-1997). He is also founding member and president of the Finnish Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (funded in 1990). He was president of Indoor Air ´93 conference and Healthy Buildings 2000 conference.

Professor Seppänen has consulting and research experience from Finland and the USA. Currently he is vice-president and chairman of technical and scientific committee in European Federation of Building Services Engineers (REHVA), and Co-ordinator of CIB´s Task Group "Performance Criteria for Health and Comfort of Buildings". He is also fellow of American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) from which he received Louise and Bill Holladay distinguished fellow award in 2003 for his work in the area indoor air quality and climate.

Jarek Kurnitski is the leader of the research group in the HVAC-Laboratory at HUT. He has got his Masters degree from the Civil Engineering and PhD from the Mechanical Engineering at HUT. His PhD thesis dealt with moisture and mould control of crawl spaces. He has worked as a full time scientist and project manager at HVAC-Laboratory since 1995. His experience covers building physics and indoor air quality, ventilation systems, as well as modelling and measurement techniques. He has an extensive experience in field measurements.

Lic. Tech. Jari Palonen has large experience from ventilation and thermal environment studies in offices, homes, schools, shops and day-care centre.