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Total building performance


VTT promotes the advantageous total life cycle performance of buildings and premises. VTT develops criteria, methodologies, calculative and experimental evaluation methods: tools to support decision-making in different phases of the buildings’ life cycles, in order to verify the total building performance and to manage risks. VTT,s competence is based on broad knowledge of physical phenomena in the indoor environment, interactions between indoor air and building envelope structures, building physics, and performance analyses of structural, equipment and building systems.

In the total performance verification VTT utilises methodologies, versatile calculations, simulations and experimental capabilities which have been developed through international collaboration.


A significant part of the activities in the real estate and construction sector will focus on the life cycle management of buildings: use, maintenance, service and retrofit/refurbishment. Systematic and effective methods for the management of performance characteristics are thus a prerequisite. The required information content from different objects (components, technical systems, buildings, spaces) needs to be known, in order to develop methods of producing the information. The challenge is to focus in the correct way, and thus to produce and process valid performance information for different stakeholders. The development potential of total building performance is in fitting experimental and calculative methods together, in diagnostic methods, and in defining the criteria of the experienced indoor environment.


  • Energy, material and emission balance models for community and building solutions
  • Performance verification systems for building systems, simulation and monitoring methods
  • Performance verification methods for equipment systems (heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, domestic hot water)
  • Analysis methods for the thermal, moisture and airflow behaviour of building components (windows, walls, floors, ceilings, doors)
  • Analysis methods for the interactions between building materials, ventilation and indoor air quality
  • Modelling, measurement and visualisation of temperature and contaminant distributions of indoor air
  • Multidimensional visualisation and virtualisation models of room spaces
  • Thermal comfort model
  • Criteria of experienced indoor environmen


  • Balanced target-setting for the solutions
  • Total performance verification in different phases of the systems life cycle
  • Optimised total solutions in stead of partially optimised
  • Improved quality of construction and real estate services
  • Risk management for life cycle services
  • Performance specifications for the product development
  • New scientific evidence of the experienced indoor environment (thermal comfort, indoor air quality)
  • New bases for the design and dimensioning of heating and cooling solutions
  • User interaction in the design and solution selection

References and merits

  • Co-ordination of several EU projects (I3CON, INTUBE, NORTHPASS, SuccessFamilies...) and participation in around ten other EU projects. In projects, there are altogether several dozen partners from the real estate and construction sectors and the product industry.
  • Bilateral research collaboration with o organisations from countries like China, the Republic of Korea, the USA, Japan and Russia.
  • Memberships of international organisations, networks and expert/advisory boards: European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research (COST), European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB), International Energy Agency (IEA), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), European Construction Technology Platform (ECTP), LowExNet.
  • Management and leadership of several Finnish national energy related research and technology programmes over 20 year (LVIS2000, ETRR, RAKET, CUBE)
  • 4 doctors

Additional information

Helena Järnström
Senior Research Scientist, Team leader
+358 20 722 6123

Satu Paiho
Senior Research Scientist
+358 20 722 4908

Pekka Tuomaala
Senior Research Scientist
+358 20 722 4929