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Fighting global challenges with a smart building ecosystem

In the KEKO Ecosystem project, we at Halton, want to address two very relevant issues for people’s life now and in the future: improving their wellbeing in buildings through better indoor climate, and promoting sustainability through lower energy consumption.

9.12.2020

We believe that by sharing our data and utilising the data provided by other partners through a smart building ecosystem, we can take our solutions to a next level, and help solve the growing needs for even safer, more comfortable and energising indoor environments, and at the same time, help cut more CO2 emissions through more intelligent, optimised systems. We joined KEKO ecosystem because we believe it is an excellent way of driving these goals.

Hundreds of start-ups signalling change in the building industry

The KEKO project has offered us a front-row seat for learning about leading Finnish companies’ views on ecosystems and how to build one. Besides the cooperation between the established partner companies, the project has provided us with interesting exposure to various start-ups with different approaches and know-how. Until recently, one can say the building industry has been lagging behind in digitalisation compared to other industries, and there is subdued demand waiting for to be freed. Things are clearly bubbling under and now, interesting initiatives are coming on stage. The potential of digitalisation for buildings is significant and driven, not least, by energy efficiency. Along with environmental aspects, building users are coming into sharper focus.

Improved safety for all indoor environments

The exceptional year with the ongoing covid-19 pandemic has made the crucial role of indoor air in our life visible in an unprecedented way. This virus, like many others, is mostly spread indoors and especially in crowded premises with poor ventilation. As a provider of demanding indoor air solutions for special environments such as professional kitchens or patient isolation rooms and operating theatres, we have been fighting pathogens before, and do know how to remove them from the air and prevent them from landing on surfaces. Digital, networked technology has been crucial for us in these difficult environments where you have to manage both indoor hygiene and energy efficiency at the same time without compromising safety. All this makes a solid ground to build on in various other spaces too. Further development of our own IoT platform and making it connectable to an ecosystem could not seem more relevant after 2020.

Digital ecosystem enables holistic user experience

In cities, we spend over 90% of our time indoors. During rainy, cold or hot seasons we may seek protection from outdoor conditions by going or staying in. Our usual environments include various public and commercial buildings or complexes of buildings. Producing a total customer experience in these indoor environments is not a solo performance. Besides healthy and comfortable, we must make future indoor environments attractive, durable, functional and accessible – and adaptable to whatever the future brings us.

For one thing, the KEKO journey has opened my eyes to the various dimensions of a building ecosystem and what a building based on an ecosystem could actually be like. I’m looking forward to further challenging our creative thinking together with this unique team in the upcoming year 2021.

Mika-Nieminen

Mika Nieminen

Halton Group, Director, Strategy & Business Development