The main building of the former Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) designed by Alvar Aalto is part of the cultural heritage in Finland. The building underwent a major renovation in 2011-2015 and has now become an awarded Undergraduate Centre for the modern interdisciplinary education of Aalto University. This paper presents how the architectural masterpiece from the 1960's was renovated and updated into a modern and accessible university building. Particular attention was paid for entering the building by wheelchairs, prams and pushchairs. The successful renovation was awarded in 2015 by the 'Esteetön Suomi -palkinto' (Accessible Finland Award), given every two years as a mark of recognition to activities or locations implementing the principles of accessibility and Universal Design for all on a broad scale and in a nationally significant way.
This study measured how stroke survivors perceived their housing environment. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected using the Usability in My Home Questionnaire with 19 stroke survivors who all lived in the community. Overall, they reported that the design of their homes allowed them to manage their self-care activities but not all of their household activities. The outside design of the home posed difficulties, with uneven ground and poor lighting and stair access. Inside the home, space was a problem, particularly for stroke survivors using wheelchairs. Living in restricted spaces was the result of the person-technology-environment fit. These results show that the housing environment is not experienced similarly by all old persons, and that the environmental experiences reported by the sample often appear inconsistent with the quality of their housing environment as judged by objective indicators; for instance, subjective reports are often more favorable than would be expected in light of the limiting aspects of the objective environment. Recommendations for housing design strategies and for occupational therapy practice are offered.
BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to estimate the risk of severe osteoarthritis, with the need for arthroplasty, in the knee and/or hip according to body mass index (BMI) both within a normal range and in persons with high BMI. Furthermore, we wanted to study the significance of smoking. METHODS: This study identifies male construction workers participating in a national health control program (n = 320,192). The incidence rate for joint replacement was found by matching with the Swedish hospital discharge register between 1987 and 1998. BMI and smoking habit was registered at the time of the health examination. RESULTS: In total 1495 cases of osteoarthritis of the hip and 502 cases of osteoarthritis of the knee were identified and included in this analysis. The incidence rate was found to increase linearly to the BMI even within low and 'normal' BMI. The relative risk for osteoarthritis of the hip was more than two times higher in persons with a BMI of 20-24 than in men with a BMI 17-19. There was almost a doubling of the risk of severe knee osteoarthritis with an increase in BMI of 5 kg/m2. Smoker had a lower risk of osteoarthritis than non-smokers and ex-smokers. CONCLUSIONS: BMI is an important predictor of osteoarthritis even within normal BMI. A decreased risk of osteoarthritis of the hip was found in smokers, but the effect was weak compared to that of BMI or age. Contrary to studies of radiographic osteoarthritis our study indicates higher risk of hip than of knee osteoarthritis.
The primary objectives of this study were (a) to measure potential exposures of applicators and assistants to airborne methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), (b) to measure airborne concentrations of MDI at various distances from the spray foam application, and (c) to measure airborne MDI concentrations as a function of time elapsed since application. Other study objectives were, (a) to compare the results from filter and impinger samples; (b) to determine the particle size distribution in the spray foam aerosol; (c) to determine potential exposures to dichlorofluoroethane; and (d) to measure any off-gassing of MDI after the foam had fully cured. This study was conducted during application of spray polyurethane foam inside five single-family homes under construction in the United States and Canada. Spray foam applicators and assistants may be exposed to airborne MDI concentrations above the OSHA permissible exposure limit. At these concentrations, OSHA recommends appropriate respiratory protection during spray foam application to prevent airborne MDI exposures above established limits and to protect against exposure to dichlorofluoroethane (HCFC-141b). Airborne MDI concentrations decrease rapidly after foam application ceases. The highest airborne concentrations measured after 15 min and 45 min were 0.019 mg/m3 and 0.003 mg/m3, respectively. After 45 min, airborne concentrations were below the limit of quantitation (LOQ) of 0.036-microg per sample. For samples taken 24 hours after completion of foaming, results were also below the LOQ. Approximately two-thirds of the total mass of the airborne particles in the spray foam aerosol was greater than 3.5 microns in diameter. Airborne MDI concentrations determined by filter sampling methods were 6% to 40% lower than those determined by impinger methods.