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Research project examines the criteria for evaluating health and social care property investments

It is important to re-think what kind of health and social care spaces we will need in the future.
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The need for health and social care services is growing as our populations age. With medical advancements we are able to help more and more of our elderly, and at the same time technologies and services are evolving. However, our health and social care properties need regular renovation and when they do, it is important to re-think what kind of spaces we will need in the future as hospital treatments change and as 24/7 care needs grow.
 
There is approximately 10 million square metres of room space occupied by the public health and social care services in Finland. 70 % of that space is in the use of basic health care and social services (Kuntaliitto 2019). A big portion of this space is in need of renovation. The use of new health technologies demand new kinds of spaces and the aging population is in need of new kinds of living arrangements. Also urbanisation has an affect on property investments: it determines where and what kinds of health and social care properties are needed in Finland.

It is crucial to be able to anticipate the many different kinds of functions of a building when planning a large, expensive property investment. The spaces need to be flexible and allow multiple uses, and these features should be considered already in the planning phase. When evaluating investments, the viewpoint of services in change and theta of developing technologies should be considered.
 
A new research projects aims at creating a future-oriented model in which property investments are examined from a broad perspective: from long-terms needs and their impact on capacity decisions and from services that transcend municipal boundaries. Another goal of this research is to propose a new set of evaluation criteria for property investments. 

The research project started in March 2021 and it will be conducted as part of the governmental research programme 2021. The results will be published in december 2021. The project is led by D.Sc. (Tech.) Riikka-Leena Leskelä from NHG Finland and professor Laura Arpiainen from Aalto University’s SOTERA research group for Health and Wellbeing Architecture.

For more information:
Laura Arpiainen, professor, tel. +358 50 465 2065, [email protected]

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