HOAS Laboratory

The services of housing are underdeveloped, if not non-existent. Yet housing makes up the largest share of both our ecological footprint and our national income. This was the starting point of our joint project with the biggest constructor of the Helsinki area, Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region (HOAS). This project named HoasLab developed concepts and services for shared and resource smart student accommodation.

The first phase of the project in 2010-2012 consisted of a series of experiments involving HOAS partners, tenants, academic departments, and students. The experiments aimed to improve communications between HOAS and its tenants, reduce energy consumption though property maintenance and tenants’ own actions, renew the practices of shared living, and develop the shared spaces of rented flats. The experiments included the renovation plan of a particular HOAS property and the launch of the HOAS host programme together with the tenants. The experiments and the HOAS Lab programme are introduced in a report published in May 2012.

The second phase that started in autumn 2012 has seen the realisation of the experiment results into a continuous operational model for the design of the shared spaces of the HOAS properties and the embedding of the practices for their shared use. The shared spaces of a new HOAS property completed in Jätkäsaari in autumn 2012 were designed through co-creation with the tenants. This was set as a representative case of the operational model.

The HoasLab was awarded the housing innovation prize Asumisen innovaatioplakinto and the marketing prize Vuoden Huipulla in 2012, and has received international media attention from Monocle to Suddeutscher Zeitung.