A quantum leap towards better and more productive indoor environments

A quantum leap towards better and more productive indoor environments

The RYM Indoor Environment Program implemented in 2011–2015 produced dozens of solutions based on multidisciplinary research which enhance the wellbeing, productivity, comfort and learning of space users in an ecologically sustainable way. Studies have shown that a good indoor environment and energy efficiency increase considerably the value of a property.

Almost 30 companies and 12 Finnish research institutes participated in the research consortia of the different stages of the RYM Indoor Environment Program. Under leadership of the four driver companies (Halton, Newsec, Schneider Electric and University Properties of Finland Ltd) they invested almost €24m in indoor environment research. Tekes’ share was about half of the total.

The program produced about 250 scientific journal and conference articles. More than 50 doctoral dissertations and master’s theses were also written in connection with the program. International cooperation was done with research institutes in Denmark, Germany, Holland, England, Australia, China and the United States.

Breakthrough knowledge and better business

Research Professor Kari Reijula of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health who led the program’s academic evaluation team is highly satisfied with the results of the RYM Indoor Environment Program. ”Our aim was to produce breakthrough knowledge on good indoor environments but we ended up taking a quantum leap that has already created many kinds of novel know-how and new types of networks,” said Reijula at the Results Seminar of the Indoor Environment Program.

Program Manager Sampsa Nissinen of Tekes also considers the RYM Indoor Environment Program a successful SHOK program. ”The best results were achieved by combining different perspectives in a fresh way,” Nissinen stated.

Companies are also satisfied according to a survey targeting them. As many as 95% of the companies involved in the program reported that it had strengthened their market position. Almost as many expected the results to improve their profitability.

Human body

User-centric tools for better management of indoor environments

The key R&D targets of the RYM Indoor Environment Program were user-centric indoor environments. Different indoor environment user experiences related to them have been studied and simulation and design tools developed for better management of indoor air conditions. As concerns nearly zero-energy buildings, things such as the effects of the tightness of the building envelope and regional solar heating solutions, have been investigated.

VTT has developed the HTM model (Human Thermal Model) which allows simulating the interaction of the human body with its environment with unprecedented accuracy. Identification of the thermal sensations typical of different user groups allows designing buildings that are both energy efficient and best suited for their users.

The Human & Green project led by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, in turn, developed an operational model for space design that gets the users involved and thereby ensures indoor environments that support the wellbeing of employees and energy efficient practices.

The RYM Indoor Environment Program also studied the revenue models for indoor environments in the facilities markets. In the light of the study, the real option model widely used in the financial world is also very well suited for the real estate sector. It allows improving especially cost planning, modifiability and environmental certification.

Spaces adapt to new learning paradigms

A multidisciplinary research team assembled by University Properties of Finland Ltd (UPF) has studied and developed future learning environments. On the basis of research data and user experiences it has implemented 26 demonstration projects on its campuses in different parts of Finland. The results of the R&D have been compiled into the newly published Oppiva kampus (learning campus) book. ”UPF intends to exploit the results of multidisciplinary research as it invests more than one billion euros over the next 10 years,” says Olli Niemi, coordinator of the research entity.

title.pic”Future spaces must adapt to new learning paradigms. Different generations perceive and experience spaces and technologies differently. We need generational management where all parties learn from each other. We don’t need heroic architecture and smart buildings, but buildings that make people smarter,” as was pointed out at the Results Seminar of the RYM Indoor Environment Program by Kirsti Lonka, Professor of Educational Psychology.


Anssi Salonen, Chief Technology Officer, RYM Oy, anssi.salonen@rym.fi, Phone +358 40 514 6181

Kari Reijula, Professor, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, kari.reijula@ttl.fi, Phone +358 50 550 2050

Project Manager Lauri Paronen, Boost Brothers Ltd., lauri.paronen@boostbrothers.fi, Phone +358 40 145 9005

Electronic Results Report of the RYM Indoor Environment Program

Presentations of the Results Seminar of the RYM Indoor Environment Program: