Granlund is one of the 22 companies participating in the E3 pandemic response project. As a company that strongly invests in innovation and development, it was clear from the start that Granlund wanted to be part of E3.
Granlund is a company working in the construction and real estate sector that employs over 1,300 experts. Granlund specialises in improving the sector’s productivity, the promotion of digitalisation, new energy solutions and responsibility. Granlund is the market leader in HVAC design in Finland, which is one of the reasons why E3 is an important development project. Granlund has a strong interest in finding new solutions to pandemic responses.
“One of the greatest outcomes of the E3 project is its respectful and widely scaled multidisciplinary group of highly valued experts and researchers who have created a reliable and knowledgeable pandemic response foundation with their collaboration”, says Jukka Vasara, Vice President of Granlund and Chairman of the E3 steering group.
Vasara sees the project bearing fruit for its participants after just one year from the project launch.
“When we joined this project, we recognised that we would collate scientific evidence of airborne viruses and other things that matter to us in designing and planning new health-secure premises for people and their wellbeing”, Vasara describes.
Expanding knowledge and understanding in E3
In the E3 project, Granlund aims to develop smart and modular concepts and solutions for the healthcare sector that can be also utilised in other sectors such as public spaces and offices. The main targets of development are:
new management and commissioning concepts for the construction of modular entities
air-conditioning strategies and concepts to ensure safe operations even in pandemic conditions
machine-learning algorithms that can ensure the pandemic safety of solutions at the design stage
AI-based monitoring of air conditioning systems to identify safety-critical fault situations
integration of other security technologies into the Granlund facility management tool
It is important for Granlund to expand their knowledge and understanding. For them, the project is a way to widen their expertise in ventilation with experts from other disciplines.
“Now that we have this very multidisciplinary and versatile project, we can talk about things on a profound level with infectious disease doctors, virologists, and hospital staff too”, Vasara highlights.
E3 has four use cases, which work as platforms for joint development for the project participants. Granlund acts as an activator in the Smart Modular Healthcare use case. “Our role is to lead the use case in Finland and abroad, and to develop pandemic-safe concept solutions”, explains Piia Sormunen, Development Director at Granlund and Project Manager of the E3 Smart Modular Healthcare use case and the Matei Bals hospital proof of concept piloting.
“We also work as a building services system specialist in the kindergarten project in Finland. The core purpose of the study is to find out whether air purification can reduce the incidence of circulating upper respiratory tract infections and stomach diseases in children and adults”, Sormunen adds.
International pilot project in Romania
E3 is a project that has sparked global interest. Granlund has been launching a proof of concept pilot project in the Prof. Dr. Matei Balș National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Bucharest, Romania. Matei Bals is an important platform (use case) for testing and applying research-based knowledge and technologies provided by E3 project participants.
“In Matei Bals, the hospital buildings are naturally ventilated. A very interesting research question is how different kinds of air purification technologies affect indoor air quality, emissions and infection risks in hospital waiting areas and patient wards compared to mechanically ventilated modern hospitals in Finland”, Sormunen says.
Sormunen and other E3 experts visited Romania in September to present the pilot project and other ongoing projects within E3. “The kindergarten research project with Helsinki City was found especially interesting and there were inquiries about also establishing such a project in Romania”, Sormunen enthuses.
Innovation is a key element for Granlund
Granlund is a company that concentrates strongly in research and development. Each year, Granlund invests approximately 6–8 per cent of consolidated net sales in development and innovation. “Big projects like E3 are an essential part of our innovation and development strategies”, comments Sormunen.
In the E3 project, Granlund has found many new partners to work with – both companies and research institutes. “The collaboration is very fruitful for our designers, and also for our innovation and development experts. E3 helps them to develop new solutions with universities and other companies”, Sormunen describes.
Read more about Granlund’s innovation actions: https://www.granlundgroup.com/about-us/innovations/
E3 Pandemic Response and Enterprise Solutions is a 2.5-year joint development project financed by Business Finland and participating companies, the goal of which is to study the routes of the spread of viruses and how various functions of society can be kept functional despite pandemics.