Vuores School Centre — lighting supports teaching

Tampere, Finland

Helvar supplied its DALI lighting control system equipment for the Vuores School Centre that was opened in January 2014.

“There are competitors, of course, but Helvar offers the best services, the most efficient support and the best equipment,” says engineer Jarmo Rantala from Sähköpeko Oy, the company responsible for the installation work.

Due to the large variety of rooms with different purposes, the lighting design was not easy, and there was need for adjustments, even after the opening. Helvar offered support in every phase of the project, and could help with solutions for different problems. “We haven’t come across any overwhelming difficulties, and all issues have been resolved smoothly in cooperation with Helvar,” says project manager Mikko Malinen from Sweco Building Service Systems, which was responsible for the electrical engineering.

One of the benefits of DALI is its adaptability. If you need to change something afterwards, there is no need for renovations or wires. “DALI is a very powerful and functional system in that sense, too,” says Rantala.


According to Malinen, the demand for energy efficiency turned the decision in Helvar’s favour. “We wanted the system to meet many different needs, such as compatibility with the audio-visual system and integration with the building management system. Helvar could offer this,” he explains.

The multipurpose lobby lighting is integrated with Schneider’s building management system through a device called Tridium Niagara JACE. “The integration makes it possible to send information from the lighting control system to the same control room where other aspects of the building are also monitored and controlled,” explains Miikka Etelälahti, Helvar’s specialist responsible for the integration. The information gathered at the school centre include luminaire-specific malfunction detection on lamps and devices (e.g. if the ballast is damaged) and energy consumption data from rooms.


Rantala from Sähköpeko Oy worked in close cooperation with Helvar’s implementation support. This was made easier by the fact that Rantala had good contacts with Helvar’s personnel “When I ran into problems with the functionality, I could always ask them for more information, and they cleared up all my questions,” explains Rantala. “Installation and configuration was very simple with these routers.”


Lack of communication between professionals, however, did cause problems in some classrooms. In the designs, the lighting detectors were initially well-placed, but later covered by ventilation pipes. “A classic problem,” says the school’s caretaker Juho Isomäki. However, this problem was also solved when Helvar visited and programmed the lights to stay on longer. This prevents the lights switching off too quickly due to the shade cast by the pipes. “Those of us who work here are extremely satisfied with the lighting. Now we are adjusting it here and there with Helvar’s help to make it even better,” says Isomäki.


Soile Ruusunko, the Principal of the Vuores School Centre, has found that the ability to control lighting supports teaching. It is possible to control the lighting in different parts of the classroom, such as the teaching board or desk area. By using simple buttons, the teacher can control the lighting directly from the teacher’s desk. “The new lighting is also good for your eyes and soul,” remarks Ruusunko. “Even the children have noticed with pleasure that the lights don’t flicker and buzz like they did in their previous school.”


The gross area of the Vuores School Centre is 20,000 m2 plus a maintenance and parking level of 1,300 m2. The building meets the D3 energy efficiency requirements of the National Building Code of Finland. The building provides space for a comprehensive school of 1,200 students, 60 children in preschool education groups and a 100-child capacity daycare. The building will also house the first public health care services in Vuores: a welfare clinic, a dental health care unit and an adult counselling service.

Tampere, Finland