Research and learning environment

The Living Lab enables multidisciplinary research and teaching related to the effects of the built environment on sustainability, the climate and wellbeing. The versatile research environment provides a setting for research in, for example, wood and materials science and physics, as well as on human welfare and experiences, and indoor air.

The Living Lab comprises a multidisciplinary research platform provided by the building, which generates measurement data on timber structures and the changes taking place in them over time with the help of, for example, an automated sensor network. Among other purposes, shared data can be used when establishing field-specific standards. 

In the future, new members are welcome to join the collaboration efforts. Further information can be obtained from Pasi Puttonen. 

The new building constitutes a research platform of its own

In itself, the new building is a unique, innovative and open research platform that serves as what is known as a living lab. It enables multidisciplinary research and teaching related to the effects of the built environment on sustainability, the climate and wellbeing. In addition, the Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station provides opportunities for testing a range of research-based solutions, engaging in co-creation and carrying out long-term research.

Hyytiälä is also home to SMEAR II, a globally leading measuring station in atmospheric research, which measures, as part of the operations of the Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR), more than a thousand factors in the atmosphere and ecosystem. The station measures the concentration of gases and fine particles, or aerosols, in the air, as well as their formation and routes from the soil, lake, peatland and trees. In the future, the life of aerosols will also be measured in the new building in Hyytiälä and its various rooms. People spend most of their lives indoors, which makes indoor air quality a significant factor in terms of health.

The Hyytiälä of the future

The Hyytiälä of the future is a genuine flagship for multidisciplinary research and learning, with a unique environment provided by Finnish nature. Multidisciplinarity will increase when wood and materials scientists are involved, as well as when human welfare and experiences are investigated. Opportunities will also be opened for research in physics and, for example, sensory research, with indoor air as one potential area of investigation. We believe this will attract researchers from universities and organisations in Finland and abroad.

Together with Oregon State University in the United States and the Slovenian InnoRenew CoE centre in wood science, a new collaboration model has been established that also enables research on timber materials, buildings and their users in Hyytiälä. The partner organisations have built similar timber-framed buildings that serve as research platforms. Consequently, the new network makes it possible to conduct interesting comparative studies by combining the extensive datasets generated by measurements in the buildings located in different countries and continents. Opportunities for collaborative teaching are also possible. New ideas will undoubtedly emerge as cooperation between experts in various fields deepens.