Housing trends and development

Lumo homes experiment with latest smart technology in heating and ventilation

A unique experiment is being conducted in the Lumo homes at Nassakkakuja in Espoo. The latest smart technology now adjusts ventilation in addition to heating. The smart system increases living comfort and conserves energy.

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The heating in most Lumo buildings is already adjusted with the Leanheat system. Although our experience with the system has been very positive, we continue to experiment and develop various heating and ventilation technologies.

Last year, a smart ventilation system was installed in the Lumo building at Nassakkakuja in Matinkylä, Espoo. The system constantly monitors the need for ventilation by considering factors such as humidity and the carbon dioxide level of indoor air.

“Whereas traditional ventilation systems operate at a standardised capacity, a smart system provides each apartment with air according to need,” says Jani Sirenius, Lumo homes’ building systems engineer.

Smart exhaust air vents were installed in the apartments of the Lumo building at Nassakkakuja, replacing the traditional exhaust vents in bathrooms and kitchens.

Ventilation according to need

The three-storey Lumo building at Nassakkakuja has 46 apartments. The reasons for choosing this property, built in 1997, for the smart technology pilot project include its ventilation system being near the end of its technical life cycle.

In the pilot, smart exhaust air vents were installed in each apartment. They were used to replace traditional exhaust vents in bathrooms and toilets.

A smart vent will boost ventilation of the bathroom when it detects that the resident has used the shower.

The new vents have sensors for measuring the flow, humidity and temperature of indoor air. The measurement data is sent wirelessly to a cloud service that opens each vent just the right amount.

“The goal is for the spaces to be appropriately ventilated – not too much or too little,” says Sirenius.

The benefit of smart ventilation solutions is that they allow adjustments specific to each apartment and even each room. For example, a smart vent will boost ventilation of the bathroom when it detects that the resident has used the shower.

The smart exhaust air fans in the apartments can also assess the need for air conditioning. That will result in overall energy savings.

The smart Leanheat system already in use at Nassakkakuja was complemented by installing new digital thermostats to radiators.

A steady home temperature

We have received a lot of positive feedback regarding the Leanheat system, which helps optimise the adjustments made to heating of Lumo buildings, thus creating increasingly steady living conditions.

“Temperature sensors installed in several apartments in different parts of the property collect data that help the artificial intelligence underpinning the system regulate the temperature in the building correctly,” says Sirenius.

The smart system can also incorporate other data, such as weather forecasts.

“For example, before the intense cold period in January, the heating systems of our buildings started to store heat in the structures well in advance.”

Smart digital thermostats represent the cutting edge in the industry.

At Nassakkakuja, the Leanheat system has been complemented by installing new digital thermostats to radiators in all apartments. According to the Danish manufacturer, they are not yet in use anywhere else in the world, making them literally state-of-the-art technology.

Thanks to the digital display on the thermostat, a resident can easily and quickly adjust the temperature if the room feels too cold or too hot.

“The new devices can also be adjusted remotely. The resident can use a mobile device to set an apartment-specific target temperature, which the system will maintain regardless of changes in outdoor temperature.”

The thermostat can also be adjusted using the panel.

What if you could set the optimal temperature yourself?

During the spring, we will be collecting data and experiences on the effect of the new technology at Nassakkakuja. We also hope to receive feedback from the residents.

Sirenius thinks that new smart technologies will bring new kind of services to Lumo homes in the future. The resident could choose the temperature of their apartment, which would be reflected in their rent.

In the future, Lumo could offer a standard temperature such as 21–22 degrees. For an extra fee, the resident could then increase the temperature of their home to, for example, 24 degrees.

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