State properties

YHA Kuvapankki / Pentti Hokkanen


Senate Properties is testing integrated damp detectors

Senate Properties is taking part in the RAILO project, run by VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland) and Aalto University, which aims to develop, produce and test damp detectors to be integrated inside building structures. Through Senate Properties' participation in the national Moisture and Mould Programme, the project has acquired test sites for its detectors.

Problems caused by moisture tend to grow in buildings over long time periods and often out of sight inside structures, which make it difficult to detect and repair them. Therefore, it would be useful to be able to monitor the structural condition, and particularly the relative moisture level of buildings, on a regular basis throughout the life of the building. Short-term monitoring could also bring significant benefits to the quality control of renovation projects. Monitoring will prove beneficial as early as the initial construction stage, as it helps to ensure that structures are properly dry. Early detection of damp problems minimises damage as well as repair costs.

"At its best, the installation of detectors will reduce haste and time pressure commonly experienced at building sites. It will force developers to ensure that all structures are properly dry before they continue building. In addition, there will be no need to measure structural moisture at the coating stage, since the detectors will provide live information on drying times. Detectors will provide the customer with documentation on whether the drying stage has been properly managed. Should any damp problems arise at a later date, it will be easy to determine whether the problems are due to moisture retained during the building stage," said Dr Juhani Pirinen, director of the Moisture and Mould Programme, listing the benefits of the new system.

YHA Kuvapankki / Ulla-Maija Liukko

A detector module which can provide readings wirelessly from inside structures is the ideal tool for monitoring relative moisture and temperature levels. The project on 'the reliability of damp detectors to be integrated in buildings and read off-site' (RAILO for short) aims to develop, produce and test a wireless system of module detectors. The research project is funded by Tekes (the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation), with VTT and Aalto University as the research parties. Other research partners include several businesses and the cities of Espoo and Helsinki.

The detectors are currently being tested at two Senate Properties sites: the state administrative services office in Turku, and the main police station in Hämeenlinna. The administrative services office in Turku is undergoing major renovation, whereas the police station in Hämeenlinna is a new build. The sites are testing both passive detectors, which must be read on-site, and active detectors, which send out information to be read off-site.

Further information:

Jukka Riikonen, Senate Properties
jukka.riikonen(at)senaatti.fi
Tel. +358 400 137 554


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State properties


In Finland, the ownership of public buildings is centralised in the government-owned enterprise Senate Properties, which owns almost 12,000 public buildings. These state-owned properties suffer from similar problems to those of other owners with regard to indoor air quality, moisture, and mould.

The aim of the programme to combat moisture and mould is to ensure that, after the programme, indoor air problems in state properties are taken seriously and solved promptly. The intent is to make state properties an example for other property owners, for instance by including all state properties within the scope of regular condition inspections - and property management based on standard guidelines. Senate Properties has already compiled operating models, instructions, and tools for analysing indoor air problems, managing information on repairs, and monitoring success. Operating models established as best practices on the basis of Senate Properties' experiences will be applied to other state properties, and will be used to provide support to the municipal sector, too.

Further information:

Jukka Riikonen, Senate Properties
jukka.riikonen(at)senaatti.fi
Tel. +358 400 137 554