Public defence in real estate economics, M.Sc. (Tech) Eerika Janhunen

The title of the doctoral thesis: "Is smart profitable for real estate? - Evaluating the viability of smart energy management system investments for real estate owners"
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Is smart profitable for real estate?

For years, smartness in real estate has been seen to play a key role in future energy markets. However, only after the unstable energy market caused by the war in Ukraine did Finnish real estate owners realize the importance of buildings in balancing demand and supply in the energy system. In the future, buildings across Europe should have the technological capabilities to participate in the dynamic energy markets. However, the financial and operational viability of the investments aiming to improve the smartness of real estate has still remained unclear for the owners.

This dissertation was the first study to combine the theoretical grounds of smartness in buildings and the operation logic of real estate business to evaluate the economic and strategic benefits of smartness for real estate. This study first tested and developed the European Union-driven smart readiness indicator for buildings in Finland and further in the Nordic real estate market. Second, the study observed the viability of the real estate market-specific investment evaluation metrics and property valuation for evaluating the profitability of income-generating smart energy management systems in buildings at the property and building portfolio levels.

The study found that the advance smart energy management system was the core technology making a building "smart." Furthermore, the study found that the economic benefits of smartness were gained through the energy markets enabled by a building's smart energy management system. Still, the new cash flows were strongly related to the on-site energy storage (i.e., battery). Surprisingly, the financial profitability was not solely enough to execute the investment of smartness in buildings. Other strategic benefits generated by smartness, such as user adaptation and real estate brand (generally difficult to evaluate in financial terms), are expected to affect the real estate owners' readiness to invest in smartness in the future.


Opponent: Research Professor Kari Mäki, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Custos: Professor Seppo Junnila, Aalto University School of Engineering, Department of Built Environment

Contact information of the doctoral student: Eerika Janhunen, [email protected],+358503093439‬

The public defence will be organised on campus (auditorium 216, Otakaari 4). Also online via Zoom;

The thesis is publicly displayed 10 days before the defence in the publication archive Aaltodoc of Aalto University. 

Electronic thesis

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