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

Friday, December 15, 2017 - 07:45

Helsinki as Testbed for Pioneering Urban Air Quality System

The first-ever citywide system provides crucial understanding to help solve urban air quality problems

Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 09:47

Public transport terminal to go under construction in Pasila

Preparatory construction work for the new Pasila public transport terminal will get underway on the Pasila bridge in December 2017. The work comprises the broadening of the Pasila bridge and a renovation of the bridge’s eastern end. The new terminal will be located in front of the Pasila rail station entrance. The work will cause only minor disruptions to traffic at first, but disruptions will increase in the summer and autumn of 2018. The project will be completed in 2019.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 09:27

Helsinki Metro Expands with Landmark Stations

The subway system now serves the Helsinki metropolitan area with eight new stations
 
Helsinki, Finland – A long-awaited extension of the Helsinki metropolitan subway system, the Metro, opened to passenger service on December 18, 2017. The extension comprises eight stations, each distinguished by original design by Finnish architects.
 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - 10:58

Online survey launched: What would the National Urban Park of Helsinki be like?

The City of Helsinki is collecting data on the areas and places that residents would like to see included in the potential National Urban Park of Helsinki. The online survey is open to all and will remain available until 17 December 2017.

The survey can be found at https://app.maptionnaire.com/en/3173.