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

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 11:58

Itäväylä and Hermannin rantatie to return to their former routes at Kalasatama

Itäväylä and Hermannin rantatie to return to their former routes at Kalasatama

The Itäväylä highway, which has been temporarily rerouted due to construction work on the Kalasatama Centre, namely REDI, will be restored in stages to its former route from 9 p.m. on Wednesday, 9 August 2017. Hermannin rantatie will also be opened to traffic from 1 September 2017.

Vehicle traffic will return to the straightened Itäväylä in the following stages:

Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 07:59

Metropolia campus to reshape Myllypuro

The Myllypuro campus of Metropolia, Finland’s largest university of applied sciences, is under construction to be completed in 2018–2019.

The foundation stone of the Myllypuro campus of Metropolia University of Applied Sciences was laid in the autumn of 2016. Currently the foundations of a cover for the metro deck are under construction – part of the campus is built on metro train tracks. The work is largely carried out at nighttime in order not to disrupt metro service.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 07:57

Smart energy system to secure uninterruptible power supply in Kalasatama

The energy system of Helsinki’s Kalasatama, the first model area for smart energy systems in Finland, will be complemented with ABB’s latest digital technology and unique ring network solution. Both solutions are the first of their kind on the scale of Finland. They will ensure that power supply in the developing Kalasatama district will be as uninterruptible as possible. By 2040, Kalasatama will be home to more than 25,000 residents and provide more than 10,000 jobs.

Monday, June 26, 2017 - 08:25

New plan proposal for Östersundom moves to decision-making

A new plan proposal has been prepared for Östersundom. The proposal integrates growth with nature, focusing on both nature conservation and planning economy.

The plan proposal has changed a great deal from the proposal that was on display in the spring of 2015. Several alternatives for the course of the metro line and for land use have been considered, and the new plan proposes a straight course for the metro line.