Aalto University: NUAS conference promoted Nordic sustainable development cooperation

A total of 135 people from all of the Nordic countries took part in the international NUAS conference (Nordic Association of University Administrators) at the end of August. The participants were university campus managers and staff, architects, sustainable development managers, eco-campus coordinators, and experts from property companies and the property administration units of various Ministries of Education.

The conference was organised by the NUAS Facilities & Environment working group (F&E) and Nordic Sustainable Campus Network (NSCN). The host universities were the University of Helsinki and Aalto University.

NSCN work is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers with the aim of realising the message of the United Nations Rio+20 Conference as part of university activities. The official commitment was signed by eight universities from the Nordic countries, including Aalto, in 2012. The target is to commit Nordic universities to implement a sustainable campus and the spirit of Rio. Another aim involves increasing the number of universities that sign the commitment. A presentation of Aalto’s own sustainable development work helped to inspire the participants in this work.

The director of the University of Helsinki Centre for Properties and Facilities Anna-Maija Lukkari chaired the NUAS F&E working group for the 5-year period ending with the conference. The new chair is Ari Nisonen from the University of Helsinki.

The chair of the NSCN network is Meri Löyttyniemi and the network coordinator Meeri Karvinen, both of whom are from Aalto University.

The conference is held in a different Nordic country each year, with the University of Oslo hosting last year’s event.

Smart facility concepts, multi-use restaurant spaces and service design Päivi Hietanen presented Aalto’s campus development work, new work environment solutions and how new and attractive facility concepts can be created in a user-oriented manner (Co-designing Campus). The Campus and Facility Services pilot space (Lämpömiehenkuja 2, A wing) provides a place to test new ways of working and mobile work. The concept that began last year develops new, smart facility concepts for Aalto.

The Learning Centre service design project provided the library with a new service concept that better meets user needs. The project also involved renewing construction processes, as traditional project design was replaced by concepting work handled by a multidisciplinary design team made up of service designers (Kuudes Kerros Oy), architects (NRT Arkkitehdit Oy), and interior design architects (JKMM Oy).

Designer Valeria Gryada described Aalto’s Learning Hub project, which combines experimental `Learning hubs´ into a network.  Learning hubs are easily accessible, flexible, low-cost, and co-created with the end users. They serve as a showcase of what Aalto’s teaching facilities are like today. Right from the start, students can influence the creation of their own learning environment. At this time, the university has learning hubs at three campuses and five schools, for a total of more than 4 000 m2 of space. The newest Learning Hub CHEM will open soon and design of the Learning Hub ELEC is beginning.

Where can people meet on campus, do group work and hold meetings? Where can students set up dates, meet or hold a brainstorming session? How about serving coffee to celebrate a dissertation? Pihazzos provide a place to do all this. Satu Kankaala from Aalto University Properties Ltd presented the Pihazzo concept for multi-use campus restaurants. Pihazzos are located in central campus sites. The idea for the Pihazzo concept was created in the Restaurants as Multi-use Facilities development project run by Aalto University Premises Ltd. Another outcome of the work was a Use and Design Manual for multi-use cafeterias and restaurants. Courage and new thinking will be required in order to develop Pihazzos. Experiments and learning from them requires risk-taking, determination and creativity when testing various solutions.


Rio+20 roll of commitments: http://rio20.euromed-management.com/roll-of-commitments-bis/
NSCN: www.aalto.fi/nscn /


Published 24.9.2014 in inside.aalto.fi, Minna Pasanen / Meri Löyttyniemi

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  1. Pingback: Outcomes of NUAS-NSCN Helsinki University & Aalto, August 2014 | NSCN – Nordic Sustainable Campus Network

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