Many ways to construct an ecological urban environment

Honkasuo is constructed ecologically and in a way that has as small an impact on the environment as possible.

The landscape will still change due to the construction and the area’s growing stock and vegetation will decrease. The current passages, paths and ski tracks will have to be altered due to the construction work. 

The construction of an ecologically sustainable urban environment means, for example, natural methods of delay in the management of storm water and utilising excess landmass generated from the construction in the construction areas.

The climate impacts of housing construction will be kept to a minimum

The aim is to keep the climate impacts of housing construction to a minimum.

The construction of residential buildings must adhere to the principles of low-energy construction and make provisions for the use of renewable energy. The residential buildings must be constructed of wood. The most feasible methods of renewable energy production in Honkasuo are solar panels, which must be planned as part of the building architecture.

Construction is a significant source of greenhouse gases in its own right. The volume of emissions during the construction phase is greatly dependent on the materials used in the building. Wood is an excellent, maybe even the best construction material when it comes to preventing global warming.

The heating capacity needed in energy efficient buildings is small, which has allowed energy company Helen Ltd, in charge of the construction of the district heating network, to develop new technology in the area. The water running in the light district heat network of Honkasuo is not as hot as it is in a regular district heat network. Energy and cost savings are generated from diminishing heat loss and the smaller pipes used in the network. The new technical solutions will provide the residents with an equally warm home as when using traditional methods. The first houses in Honkasuo are also the first houses in Helsinki to be connected to the light district heat network.

Kuninkaantammi and Honkasuo – Climate clever housing (PDF)

Ecological efficiency is monitored during the entire construction period

A specific set of eco efficiency criteria have been established for the Haapaperhonen one-family house block in the eastern part of Honkasuo.

These criteria, created as a result of collaboration with the Helsinki University of Technology at Aalto University, guide the designers and builders towards ecologically sustainable solutions. The energy efficiency of the buildings and the building technology, the modifiability of the flats, the carbon footprint of the construction materials, the previous experience in eco construction and the garden solutions form a set of values, which are used as a basis for the evaluation of the eco efficiency of the construction projects. An objective for the detached one-family house plots is also to find new solutions in solid wood construction.

The City also organises eco efficiency monitoring on the plots in the Haapaperhonen area. The monitoring period ends about four years after the finishing of the construction projects.