Oulu University Hospital (OYS) will be the smartest hospital in the world – ventilation will play a central role

The functionality of the ventilation technology is directly related to patient safety

The aim is to make the new university hospital, to be built in Oulu, the smartest hospital in the world. The premises, which will be built as part of the OYS 2030 modernisation programme, have been designed to meet the future needs of specialised medical care.

This ambitious aim, set by the Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District, entails significant requirements for the building technology of the new buildings. Another aim is to comply with Energy Efficiency Class B, which will require efficient heat recovery and advanced building automation to control different systems.

“The new hospital will be a truly smart hospital, in which building automation will enable the control of the operation and conditions of different systems based on needs. The user interfaces designed for personnel will be very easy to use. The conditions of any room can be viewed on a display and easily changed,” says OYS’s Programme Leader Kari-Pekka Tampio.

Aro Systems, a family-owned building technology company, is responsible for the building technology of the first building constructed in the first phase, which is already under way. 

“The ventilation system of Building A of the new university hospital is the largest single building technology acquisition made in the hospital modernisation programme. The size of the building will be 60,000 gross square metres. It will also constitute Aro Systems’ largest single project to date,” says Aro Systems’ Project Manager Esa Lähteenmäki.

Ventilation plays a central role in hospitals

In hospitals, one important factor related to patient safety is ventilation technology, which includes properties such as the desired air volume, pressure level, purity, temperature, heat recovery and equipment noise. In the new Oulu University Hospital, Aro Systems will rely on ventilation technology manufactured by the Finnish company Koja.
“Some hospital facilities entail special requirements for ventilation. For example, operating theatres require an exact temperature and humidity, and other properties controlled by ventilation. When it’s a matter of life and death, no deviations are allowed,” says Koja’s Sales Manager Matti Riskumäki.

“In the hospital environment, ventilation must operate faultlessly and continuously. When there’s an epidemic, for example, the virus must not spread through ventilation. In the new Oulu University Hospital, the ventilation system’s electric supply will be triply secured with the help of reserve capacity and UPS devices,” Lähteenmäki emphasises.

In hospitals, the quality and purity of ventilation is ensured with the help of efficient filtering and tight ductwork. Filters with a high degree of separation are used in ventilation to prevent the spread of infections and bacteria. Additional security is provided by a liquid circulation heat recovery system in which the supply and exhaust air-flows do not mix.

Safety and energy efficiency

The new Oulu University Hospital will have a total of around 80 air handling units manufactured by Koja. The first units arrived at the construction site in mid-July, after which Koja has delivered around three new machines every week. 

The structure and properties of ventilation technology are regulated by international standards. Hospital machines must comply with certain hygiene standards. Similar hygienic machines are also used in the food and electronics industries.

“We’ve also carefully considered the lifecycle costs of our units. Koja’s energy management solution will ensure lifecycle energy savings for the building. According to our lifecycle calculations, as well as product development and field measurements, the energy savings will be significant,” says Riskumäki.

Careful planning and testing will enable faster deployment

Before Koja started to manufacture the units, all details were carefully agreed. For example, space requirements must be calculated absolutely accurately, because no extra square metres will be built. The service and maintenance of the equipment also requires sufficient space. 

“Our cooperation has been excellent since the planning phase. Communication between all the parties involved has been very easy and straightforward. The new Oulu University Hospital will include modern ventilation technology from a Finnish supplier,” Tampio says.


The air handling units manufactured by Koja are modular units. When the unit, i.e. the ventilation need, is dimensioned, the unit is selected mainly according to the air volume. The unit will also include other components related to the necessary properties such as filtering, heat recovery, heating or drying. 
(Photos: Veli-Pekka Kotikumpu)

Additional information:

Matti Riskumäki, Koja Oy
Air Handling Solutions for Buildings, Sales Manager
Tel. +358 40 865 7972, matti.riskumaki(at)

Esa Lähteenmäki, Aro Systems Oy
Project Manager, The Future Hospital 2030
Tel. +358 40 5691 675, esa.lahteenmaki(at)

Kari-Pekka Tampio, OYS 2030, Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District
Programme Leader
Tel. +358 40 151 4005, kari-pekka.tampio(at)


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