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BIA-Brukerstyrt innovasjonsarena

Serviceable, Environmentally reSponsible & Safe—Integrating automated Legionella mitigation into potable building water system design

Alternative title: Bruker- og miljøvennlige løsninger for sikker reduksjon av legionella ved utforming og drift av tappevanninstallasjoner i bygninger

Awarded: NOK 12.8 mill.

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Project Period:

2021 - 2025

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Legionella bacteria live in water and are commonly found in the environment. In buildings, they can live in the cold and hot plumbing we rely on for our water needs. Under certain conditions, Legionella thrive in drinking water. When inhaled by humans via tiny water droplets or aerosols (e.g., when showering or bathing), Legionella can cause severe illness like Legionnaires' disease. In Norway, management and prevention of Legionella often includes increasing the operating temperature of hot water systems and regular flushing of pipes with hot water for prolonged periods of time. These actions are labor-intensive and can have high costs due to the energy and water demands. This project aims to unite stakeholders across the value chain: from building designers, engineers and builders to the daily operators, property owners, and commercial suppliers of Legionella prevention services or products, as well as researchers, public health officials and consultants. Data from real buildings, including information about their operation and maintenance, will be compiled and analyzed in order to identify risk factors for Legionella. Different interventions for managing Legionella will be implemented and validated in pilot experiments – with particular emphasis on digital, automated tools that make our building water systems smarter and more serviceable. Advanced models will be developed and tested to better predict and forecast the risk of water quality problems in buildings. Finally, we will develop recommendations and guidelines to help building designers and operators successfully and cost-effectively prevent or eliminate Legionella problems – making our buildings safer for all of us in a sustainable way.

SESSILE addresses an underestimated and somehow unspoken challenge in sustainable management of potable building water systems by answering: - How do water velocity, temperature, usage patterns, and other operational or environmental factors affect water quality, Legionella growth, and human health risks in buildings? - What characterizes ‘good’ system design and operation practices in terms of serviceability, environmental footprint and water safety? - Which water quality parameters are most informative for assessing risk and then selecting appropriate risk-mitigation actions? How to optimize sampling? - How can operators select the best Legionella mitigation practices or technologies for their specific needs, when there are few case studies documenting either success or failure for many building types and system configurations? - Can current Legionella treatment and prevention options be optimized or improved to be less laborious, time-consuming, and expensive—or replaced with superior alternatives? - How can a hybrid hydrodynamic-GNN model reliably reproduce Legionella growth in building water systems? Pilots (field and laboratory) are central in SESSILE for the joint knowledge development process, involving both researchers and actors from various stakeholder groups, to create in-depth knowledge of how to create a transformation of current building water design and operation practices for hygienic safe drinking water and more sustainable resource utilization. Partners: - Building owners (Oslobygg KF, Boligbygg Oslo KF, Stavanger kommune, Moss Kommunale Eiendomssellskap KF and OBOS Prosjekt AS. - Consultants (Kompa AS) - Technology suppliers (Armaturjonsson AS, Apurgo AS, Geberit AS and Georg Fischer JRG) - The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) - Research institutes and academia (SINTEF and NTNU) In addition, the reference group includes the Norwegian Building Authority (DiBK) and one Nordic research institute.

Funding scheme:

BIA-Brukerstyrt innovasjonsarena