A breath of fresh air

Through enabling Sweden and Finland to share best practice in dealing with moisture damage, the KLUCK 2 project has played a key role in improving local lives.

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Close cooperation is needed when building a centre of competence. Copyright: Berndt Stenberg Close cooperation is needed when building a centre of competence. Copyright: Berndt Stenberg

" The project has led to better knowledge about building-related illnesses among employers, real estate managers and municipalities, which has contributed to faster and better actions when IAQ problems have been reported in buildings. This is very important for the prognosis of affected persons as well as sick leave and their ability to work. "

Annika Glader, Project manager from the Novia University of Applied Sciences

Moisture damage can have a high social cost in terms of poor housing, detrimental health and leave of absence due to illness. Despite the fact that Finland is a bilingual country, there has historically been a lack of good quality Swedish-language information and education materials on the danger of moisture damage in buildings.

This means that many property-based businesses have in the past experienced difficulties in acquiring knowledge needed for their profession, while local Swedish-speaking citizens have not always had access to important health and safety information.

In addition, the lack of effective communication channels has left Sweden unable to take full advantage of Finnish best practice in this area.

Opening up communication

The KLUCK 2 project, funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), sought to address this lack of cooperation by establishing a Centre of Competence for Indoor Air Quality and Health (KOMIN) to act as a joint centre for education and dissemination of information to both professionals and the public in the cross-border Kvarken region.

The project also established a network for researchers, companies and municipalities on both sides of the border, and launched a dedicated website to provide independent expertise and information.

In addition, through visits to problem buildings and workplaces, the project has helped people with building related illness and those responsible for building maintenance to achieve a better understanding of indoor air quality (IAQ).

Regional benefits

As a direct result of their involvement in the project, Novia University of Applied Sciences was asked to host the Finnish Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (FISIAQ)’s annual indoor air conference in autumn 2012. The conference was organised for the first time in cooperation with Sweden, with all lectures interpreted into Swedish.

Another related development was that Umeå University hosted a workshop in Stockholm in 2013, where the Finnish Moisture and Mould programme was presented.

Sustainable impact

The ERDF-funded KLUCK 2 project is a good example of how knowledge transfer between neighbouring countries can directly improve the lives of local citizens. Indeed, project manager Annika Glader from the Novia University of Applied Sciences feels positive that the benefits the KLUCK 2 project has brought will continue to be felt by local citizens for years to come.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “KLUCK2” is EUR 873 180, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 873 180 through the “Bothnia-Atlantica” Operational Programme for the 2007- 2013 programming period.

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