Services and benefits

Digital technology enables better living and housing

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In the Lumo home of the future, you will have even more convenient control over the comfort of your apartment. The development of digital technology may soon make it possible for you to place an online order for additional heating or air conditioning in your apartment, for example. One day, your refrigerator may restock itself during the day while you are at work.

The digital transformation has brought digital services to the world of housing. Various digital solutions are already used at Lumo homes, and work is currently underway on a service platform that will enable tenants to choose the services they need.

The goals of the development are convenient daily life and comfortable living conditions.

“Our job is to ensure that our customers have access to convenient services that increase their comfort and the sense of community at our properties. Tenants can choose the services that suit their needs the best,” says Kojamo’s Chief Development Officer Teemu Suila.

He believes that cooperation between companies is the best way to respond to the changing needs of tenants. With this in mind, Kojamo has invited other companies to collaborate on the development of housing services and the Lumo service platform.

The most important thing is that the service works and provides joy and utility for its user,” Suila adds.

Comfortable living through automation

The rapid development of technology has enabled the creation of new services. Cloud services make various housing-related applications accessible from any device. The Internet of Things (IoT) connects technical building systems and devices wirelessly. The shared cars at Lumo buildings can be reserved online and their doors are unlocked and locked using text messages or a web browser on a mobile phone. Artificial intelligence applications that can be used to control automated systems and analyse large quantities of data are also on the way.

One good example of a new digital service is the Leanheat system that has already been deployed at 10 Lumo buildings. The system controls the building’s heating system to achieve uniform and optimal living conditions.

Temperature sensors installed in several apartments collect data that helps the artificial intelligence underpinning the system regulate the temperature correctly. The smart system also incorporates other data, such as weather forecasts.

“As technology continues to develop, we will be able to offer increasingly customised solutions to our tenants in the future. For example, a tenant could order extra heating — to increase the indoor temperature by, say, three degrees — for a fee.

New technology can also be implemented in old buildings

A growing number of functions around the home will be digitally controlled in the future.
A growing number of functions around the home will be digitally controlled in the future.

New apartments and properties must be designed to be adaptable to future needs. It is important to keep abreast of the times, survey the tenants’ opinions and engage them in experimenting with new solutions.

“New services that benefit tenants are being created at an increasing rate. Buildings must be designed in such a way as to allow the flexible implementation of new solutions throughout the life-cycle of the property,” Suila emphasises.

He points out that tenants of older properties must also have the opportunity to take advantage of new services. Smart technology for controlling indoor temperatures and ventilation systems is one example of services that can be introduced in older buildings by updating the technical building systems.

“This can be achieved with the help of wireless systems, for example.”

According to Suila, the Lumo brand’s service platform also serves as a framework for developing physical services. The Lumo caretaker service produced in partnership with Lassila & Tikanoja is one good example.

For the tenants of Lumo homes in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, all routine repairs and maintenance tasks are handled by the same property manager they see every day — from cleaning the yard to unclogging drains.

Food deliveries directly into refrigerators

Suila believes that, in the coming years, the rapidly growing popularity of e-commerce will support the development of solutions that make daily life easier for apartment dwellers. In Helsinki’s Hernesaari district, for example, the tenants of Lumo homes can already pick up their deliveries from a SmartPost parcel locker in their building.

“In the future, there could even be refrigerated lockers in the stairwell for the delivery of food purchased online,” Suila suggests.

Along the same lines, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that, a few years from now, food purchased online will be waiting for you in your refrigerator when you get home at the end of the day. In the United States, the Walmart retail chain is already piloting a service that involves the supermarket delivery employee gaining entry into the customer’s home by entering a one-time code on a smart lock. The customer receives a notification of the delivery on their phone and they can also monitor the courier’s visit in real time via a body camera.

“Similarly, a furniture shop could deliver a sofa to a customer’s living room without needing to have the customer physically present to open the door. The customer can make more efficient use of their time by not having to wait around for a delivery,” Suila explains.

Easy-to-use service packages

According to Suila, it is important to focus on combinations of services in addition to individual services. Services should complement each other and together constitute an easy-to-use package for the user.

This is also a key objective of the Lumo service platform.

“In technical building systems, for example, many of the automated solutions already in use are quite excellent for their purpose. However, the problem is that the systems are not interconnected and they are unable to communicate with each other.

Suila highlights a housing company’s shared sauna as an example. At some Lumo buildings, tenants can already book the sauna through a digital calendar. Convenience and security could be increased if the booking system communicated with an automatic access control system to allow the tenant to unlock the smart lock of the sauna facilities when their booking starts. Connecting the sauna stove to the same system would allow it to be heated and ready for use at the right time.

“These kinds of highly functional and user-friendly combinations can be achieved when the technical interfaces of various systems are sufficiently open,” Suila points out.

While the new solutions being developed on the Lumo service platform will primarily benefit the tenants of Lumo homes, Kojamo also has broader objectives.

“We want to be a pioneer in creating better urban housing in Finland. To achieve this goal, we engage in close cooperation with other operators in our industry. More widespread use of the services developed for our platform would benefit all of the parties concerned,” Suila concludes.

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