KIRA-digi Experiments Paving Way for Built Environment Digitalization


KIRA-digi was a national built environment digitalization spearhead project of the Finnish government carried out in 2016-2019. The project supported 138 experiments with €4.7 million in funding from the government. Participating companies invested 7.8 million in total. Here are some of the experiments that we’ve featured on

Duuers: Better Proposals with Less Work

Small contractors, consultants, and design professionals have a love–hate relationship with responding to RFPs. Duuers, a Finnish startup, wants to turn this struggle into an inspiring experience.

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Echargie: How to Make Use of Existing Infrastructure for E-Mobility

All major car manufacturers are committed to making hybrids and 100 % electric vehicles (EVs). Consequently, a growing number of drivers will need sockets to charge their vehicles. Echargie solves this problem by turning any power socket into a smart charging station

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Scaling up Building Sustainability Assessments with BIM Model Checker Tools

Building information models (BIMs) can provide a lot of useful information for a life cycle assessment. However, the models have to meet certain criteria to be usable. Bionova created a prototype to test how well a model checker could automatically verify the quality of a BIM.

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Speeding up Infrastructure Projects with the Cloud

Infrakit, a cloud service developed by a Finnish startup company, is accelerating infrastructure projects both in Finland and, increasingly, abroad. Automatic transfer of information among parties involved in a project saves time, reduces paperwork, and facilitates the work of land surveyors.  In addition to excavators, rock drills can now also be viewed on the map.

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Plehat Brings Natural Environments into Design Tools

Plehat visualization

Natural elements are an essential part of the built environment. However, BIM tools offer almost no support to landscape architecture. Plehat is introducing a new solution that helps architects and decision-makers to understand the dynamics of nature and make smart design choices.

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Better Design of HVAC Systems with VR

Retrofitting new technical systems into an existing building can be tricky. CTRL Reality, a Finnish AR/VR application development company, is completing an experimentation project demonstrating how HVAC design and installation are easier and cost-efficient with the help of virtual reality.

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Better Indoor Environments with Real-Time IoT Data

Homes and other properties contain an increasing number of IoT sensors and smart devices that provide data relating to their environment. Cozify wanted to demonstrate how that data could be used to create comfortable indoor conditions for people, and save money while doing so.

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How Algorithmic Design Improves Collaboration in Building Design

A FEM model

Two companies, A-Insinöörit and Geometria Architecture, joined forces to test algorithmic design collaboration to see if it could solve many of today’s data exchange problems. They found their solution could speed up the process, eliminate many errors, and alleviate the frustration of doing updates by hand. It could also have a positive effect on the final outcome of the project.

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Taking Service Network Planning to the Next Level

Cities and municipalities are basically systems for delivering services for the benefit of their citizens. An experimental project demonstrated how improving the flow of data between these services could save a lot of time and taxpayer money.

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SkenarioLabs Uses AI for Property Benchmarking

AI continues to be a hot topic across industries. The PropTech startup SkenarioLabs has a data analytics solution that utilizes AI. The results have been successful from the perspective of property owners: reliable technical surveys that contribute to making smart investment decisions.

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Testing Robotic Cleanup on a Construction Site

A group of people had gathered at a construction site in Vantaa, Finland, on February 25, 2019. On the floor of a large room, a robot was blinking lights, apparently waiting for instructions on what to do next. This was the first test of an industry-grade cleaning robot for construction sites.

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Locating Construction Equipment with IoT and Mobile Technology

It can take hours, or even days, to find a specific scissor lift on a large construction site – multiply that with hundreds of machines on the site and, then, you grasp the scale of the dilemma. Three companies joined forces to test an IoT solution that could fix the problem, cost-efficiently.

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eRent: Construction Efficiency Using Principles of the Sharing Economy

eRent has developed a digital equipment management portal for construction equipment. At the very heart of the concept lies the resource efficiency that can be achieved using principles of the sharing economy.

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A Portable Robot That Will Shake the Window Cleaning Industry

Window cleaning robot

A Finnish startup wants to automate the way we clean and care for our building facades. Its compact robot is taking the world by the storm.

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AI Helps Deliver Better Concrete More Efficiently

The construction industry uses 13 billion cubic meters of ready-mix concrete every year. The logistics and quality assurance of this concrete depend on legacy technologies that are no longer sufficient for today’s needs. To address this, Caidio is introducing AI-based solutions to help the supply chain deliver better quality concrete more efficiently.

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How AI Can Become a Design Adviser

The machine's suggestion (right)

Parametrized design software is not a recent invention. This software is based on predetermined, fixed algorithms, leaving most of the work to the designer. Sweco, a leading engineering consultancy, is now exploring how artificial intelligence (AI) could take design automation in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industry to the next level

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How VR and AR Will Help in Remote Expert Assistance

The speed and quality of maintenance and repair are critical in the modern, technology-packed built environment. Consequently, these were considered in an experimental project that tested how remote expert assistance using VR and AR technologies could help improve the productivity of field service.

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Connecting IoT Data to BIM


Internet of Things sensors and IoT-capable devices provide a huge amount of data from buildings. To make this data useful and usable for research, Aalto University is developing and testing a service that links IoT with building information models, BIMs.

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How BIM is Revolutionizing Building Control in Finland

BIM is becoming mainstream in building design, but building control is still predominantly based on paper documents and 2D drawings. A Finnish KIRA-digi experimentation project has demonstrated how BIM can speed up and improve the building permit process considerably.

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Helsinki is Building a Digital Twin of the City

Wind analyses

The capital of Finland first tested city modeling as long back as 1987. But the most recent model of the Kalasatama district demonstrates the new state-of-the-art possibilities of this technology: creation of a highly accurate digital twin of the city.

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City Development with Interactive 3D Models

The Finnish city of Hyvinkää has developed a unique internet service for collaborative 3D city planning. It gives real estate owners, investors, developers, designers, authorities, and citizens easy-to-use tools to publish their 3D plans and ideas for the built city environment.

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