Properties and construction
Precision and productivity
The construction and property management field has steadily changed over recent decades. Buildings and the building process itself – including building methods and materials – are changing in ways that enable considerable reductions in the sector’s energy and material use and emissions. Training and consulting can be very productive, while the property sector’s energy efficiency agreements have also been fruitful.
We have long entrusted Motiva with many tasks, especially in relation to the implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive in Finland. Actions such as the promotion of near zero energy building in the Energy Efficient Homes project, and advice and communications related to energy certificates for buildings all form part of the vital work done by Motiva to support the ministry. Motiva has also assisted us by collaborating in the EU-level Concerted Action scheme in relation to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.”
Maarit Haakana, environmental counsellor, Ministry of the Environment
Motiva provides advice for both consumers and professionals – including energy certifiers and estate agents – on issues related to energy certificates for buildings. Networking fora are organised annually for certifiers, covering current issues and possible future trends. We provide advice on energy certificates for more than 30,000 consumers and professionals every year, through our website and a telephone advisory service. This work is commissioned from Motiva by the Ministry of the Environment, and realised in collaboration with partners including the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA).
Energy efficient homes
In Finland about 6,000–7,000 new single family homes are built each year, of which more than 45% are of energy class A or B (the highest ratings for energy efficiency). The Energy Efficient Homes project, coordinated by Motiva, provides guidance for constructors on energy efficient building. Partners in the project include stakeholders from the energy, building technology and home-building sectors. The adoption of new building regulations adds to the need for such advice and communications. On the project’s website we publish guidance and examples of good building practices with regard to energy efficiency. The website receives more than 44,000 visits each year.
Energy efficiency in air conditioning systems
The energy efficiency of air conditioning systems in commercial and service buildings including shops, offices and care homes is addressed in the implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. New methods have been devised for evaluations of the condition of cooling systems. Together with our partners, Motiva has published a handbook on ventilation and cooling in a pleasant working environment. We also spread the message regarding ways to enhance the energy efficiency of air conditions. In 2016 such communications reached a total of almost 450,000 businesses, organisations, households and citizens.
Energy efficiency agreements in the property sector bear fruit
Energy efficiency agreements covering commercial properties and rental housing developments have achieved good results. Targets for commercial properties have already been exceeded, and progress has also been good in rental housing developments. In 2015 a total of more than 15 million euros was invested in energy efficiency – more than in previous years – and reported savings were also higher, especially for rental housing.
A new agreement period for 2017–2025 has been launched, with promising results already. Major players in the property sector involved in earlier agreements have already signed up for new agreements.
Information and advice on the use of biomass boilers
The Kutteri agreement between the Ministry of the Environment and The Bioenergy Association of Finland has aimed to promote the energy efficient use of biomass-fuelled heating systems and biomass boilers, by providing advice, training and communications. The agreement will now continue from 2017 as Kutteri II. Motiva has assisted in this work by producing related advisory materials and guidelines. We also compile the scheme’s annual report. The Finnish heating system sweepers’ professional association started to oversee measurements of biomass boilers in 2016, with measurements conducted for 25 boilers. In this context Motiva produced a brochure on biomass boiler efficiency.
BUILD UP Skills
Training and guidance material produced during the BUILD UP Skills project between 2013 and 2016 have been well received. The project reached more than 60,000 stakeholders, networked almost 300 actors and trained nearly 50 instructors.
Participants in the project’s final seminar in spring 2016 emphasised that materials should continue to be distributed to ensure that information on effective and energy efficient construction is widely available for builders. It was also seen as important to distribute such materials to new target groups.
We’ll continue to need such material in the future.”
Eero Lahtinen, workforce and safety manager, Lemminkäinen Talo Oy
Knowledge to back up actions
Monitoring markets and evaluating the impacts of different policies and energy efficiency measures form an important part of the work we do for ministries and other clients. For the Ministry of the Environment we have assessed the energy efficiency of newly constructed buildings, while for Invest in Finland and Finpro we have examined market situations and export potential in the property and construction sector. Such information can be used to support Finnish firms’ export efforts, and to make them more attractive to foreign investors.
Focus areas for 2017
In 2017 we aim to continue providing advice on energy certificates for consumers and professionals, while stepping up our efforts to promote energy improvements in the air conditioning systems of shops, offices and care homes. Changes in Finland’s building regulations mean that advice will be increasingly important. In our existing Energy Efficient Homes project and a new project on Efficient Home Automation we will work with professional partners particularly striving to provide advice for small-scale builders and renovators. Changes in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive will affect repair work and maintenance as well as new building. We will continue to monitor renovation work and prepare to meet related needs. We will also continue to work on energy efficiency agreements for the property sector, compiling results from the recently ended agreement period, and providing support for the launch of the new period from the beginning of 2017.