Monday, January 2, 2017 - 08:05

Finlandia Hall equipped with solar panels as the city strives to boost energy efficiency

The maintenance area of Finlandia Hall received a truckload of solar panels as the day was breaking on 20 December 2016. The last days of the year saw 180 solar panels installed on the roof of the building. With the panels, electricity purchases for the hall can be cut by 25 percent during some hours of summer days.

The panels are expected to produce 2–3 percent of Finlandia Hall’s annual electricity consumption. This corresponds to the annual electricity use of 7–8 single-family houses with district heating.

The ongoing project is in line with the City of Helsinki principles of energy-efficient and zero-energy building construction. Helsinki has committed to cutting energy consumption by 9 percent in as many years (2008–2016). The goal is to significantly reduce the consumption of purchased energy (heating, cooling and electricity) in buildings. City of Helsinki construction projects strive to improve energy efficiency throughout the building stock.

More than 1,200 sites included in a solar panel study

Investigations related to renewable energy in the city’s construction projects focus on solar and wind energy as well as on heat pumps and geothermal cooling.

The most typical renewable energy form in the projects is solar power. Ongoing new construction and renovation projects take into consideration the goals and alternatives offered by the energy investigations.

According to Sirpa Eskelinen, the leading energy expert at the City of Helsinki Public Works Department, solar power can reduce the electricity consumption of a property by 2–20 percent per year.

“The Public Works Department has so far studied the potential for solar power at more than 1,200 city properties,” she says. “Detailed studies on the potential for solar power production have been conducted for 600 properties.”

Older properties present challenges

According to Eskelinen, the utilization of solar power presents challenges especially in renovation projects. The structures of older buildings may not support solar panels, so it is not advisable to make plans for solar power production in them. The total costs of a solar power plant are also affected by the costs of the plans and the implementation of required alterations.

The roof of Finlandia Hall was found to support the weight of solar panels. However, the total investment cost was increased by challenging indoor cable installations.

Other city solar energy projects in addition to Finlandia Hall include the Torpparinmäki and Hiidenkivi Comprehensive Schools. Several ongoing new construction projects also seek to utilize solar power including the Yliskylä day care centre.

Certified environmental management

Finlandia Hall will be one of the first European event venues utilizing solar power. Finlandia Hall’s long-ranging environmental work culminated last autumn in the ISO 14000 environmental management certification. So far less than 1 percent of Finnish businesses have been certified according to this ISO standard.

Text: Marita Penttilä, City of Helsinki Public Works Department

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 10:31

Construction of main Jätkäsaari park to begin

The construction of the main park to be built in the new Jätkäsaari district will begin during the summer. The first part of Hyväntoivonpuisto – “park of good will” – to be constructed is the section between the streets of Juutinraumankatu and Rionkatu. In addition, landfill and earthmoving work will be conducted in the southern part of the park area.

Thursday, June 8, 2017 - 14:12

Global study: In Helsinki startups are born global and won’t be left to survive alone

Our geographical location may be a little remote and there’s room for improvement with the weather, too, but Helsinki has long had reason to be proud of its startup field. Global success stories, such as Supercell and Rovio, were created here together with Slush, the largest startup event in Europe, and FiBAN, one of the strongest business angel networks in Europe.

Friday, June 2, 2017 - 09:17

A kilometre-long art wall planned for Hernesaari construction site

The City of Helsinki is planning a kilometre-long art wall for the future Hernesaari construction site. The construction of a new residential area in Hernesaari will begin next year with the demolition of warehouse halls. The wall will separate the demolition and construction site from the street and waterfront area.

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 11:47

Ten entries for Pasila High-Rise Area Competition

Ten entries were submitted for the first phase of the Helsinki High-Rise Design–build Competition. The purpose of the Competition is to choose a high-quality plan for the implementation of the Pasila high-rise area. The first phase of the competition ended on 16 May.

 – Ten entries is a rather good number for such a comprehensive and demanding object. It tells that Helsinki and Pasila are attractive development objects. It is also a sign of the fact that big investments are interesting, says Executive Director Mikko Aho at the City of Helsinki.