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City of Seinäjoki working with Granlund on the EU's NewTREND project

The new design process and methods were tested in the old hospital area of Seinäjoki.

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The City of Seinäjoki offered its old hospital area for use as the Finnish pilot site for the EU project. The other test sites are in Spain and Hungary.

"The NewTREND project is Granlund's latest EU project, and the tenth such project in the company's history," says Tuomas Laine, Granlund Oy's Director of Innovation and Development. "The project coordinator is Granlund's long-term partner, IES, and it is our responsibility to test new systems on the Finnish pilot site, which has been provided to us by the City of Seinäjoki. The area contains four buildings constructed in 1929, the most interesting of which is the main building. The objective is to utilise new methods and renovation processes to overhaul the main building."

Masters' theses provided initial data for planning the renovation

The project has already resulted in the completion of two masters' theses by Granlund interns. One focused on developing and testing an entirely new energy analysis process for building overhaul projects.

"Overhaul construction projects must be made more energy efficient because the types of building being overhauled are constantly becoming more complicated and building regulations are becoming stricter," says Granlund Pohjanmaa's HVAC designer, Tatu Jämsén. "My study utilised sensitivity analyses, which can be used in the initial phase of design. They steer the collection of initial data and subsequent decision-making. The comprehensive simulations also included uncertainty analysis, which helped in selecting the final design solution. Using uncertain parameters, the simulation revealed that it was also necessary to take fluctuating weather conditions and the building's usage into consideration. When these were taken into account, one option stood out above the rest.

Finnish pilot site

The new design process and methods were tested in the old hospital area of Seinäjoki.

"The City of Seinäjoki wanted to participate in the project because energy-saving measures for the old hospital area had been under consideration for years," says Anssi Puska, Development Engineer working on facilities services for the City of Seinäjoki's technical centre. Puska also wrote his own thesis on the area for Aalto University. "The area is a suitable pilot site because the buildings consume a large amount of energy due to their age and they contain building services technology from several decades."

The EU project was an opportunity to obtain new energy-saving ideas for a challenging overhaul site.

"We have obtained important initial data for planning the overhaul of the site thanks to the project and Jämsén's thesis," Puska says. "The simulations were conducted using a comprehensive sample and they resulted in concrete suggestions for systems that would be suitable for the building, as well as an overview of the factors that have the greatest impact on energy efficiency. We can utilise the results in several ways for selecting more energy-efficient alternatives. The simulations provide a lot of answers for very little effort."

The opinions of building occupants were heard during the project

In many EU countries, it is still rare that building occupants are asked to give their opinions, which is why such feedback was included in this project.

"This is not a new thing for Seinäjoki: it is taken as read that building occupants will be listened to on all of our organisation's overhaul and new-build sites," says Puska. "When joint events were held, the architecture of the area was one of the most positive aspects in occupants' minds, while the obsolete building services were considered the greatest challenge. We completely agree with the occupants and we intend to thoroughly renew the building services. It also suits the city's wider strategy: Seinäjoki has keenly invested in energy-efficiency matters in recent years. For example, we have developed the use of renewable energy and related systems, energy reporting and energy consumption monitoring."

"We have had a long partnership with Granlund's offices in Vaasa and Seinäjoki, so we are familiar with each other's operating cultures. Jobs go smoothly and professionally. Granlund is also the City of Seinäjoki's framework planner, and we use the Granlund Manager service log system. It was natural for this partnership to continue on the EU project."
– Anssi Puska, Development Engineer working on facilities services for the City of Seinäjoki's technical centre

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