Something that our neighbours can envy

Tampere-nyhet-2014-08-21_2The first 230 residents in Tampere’s Tammela district enjoy the results of energy-efficient renovation of three pilot buildings

Tampere is working at full steam for the energy-efficient renovation of eight residential buildings, which are home to 560 inhabitants. The city is aiming to finalise the renovation of a total 30,000 m2 building stock in Tampere’s Tammela district by the end of 2016. Tampere wants to achieve a 40% reduction of primary energy consumption in the refurbished buildings.

In 2014, the refurbishment of the first three buildings, representing 13,000 m2 of living surface, and benefitting 230 residents, was successfully completed. The renovation pilot was comprised of two residential buildings, a garage and a restaurant building. For each pilot building, an individual approach has been chosen, addressing the most urgent energy efficiency issues.

The buildings of the Tammelakulma Limited Liability Housing Company, one of the pilots, were constructed in 1970. Generally, the renovation works focused on updating heating systems, electricity, ventilation and plumbing. As a major energy user, the traditional Finnish sauna that is part of every Finnish house has of course also been refurbished.

Almost one year later, first conclusions can be drawn from the experience of the renovation works and the impact on the tenants. Jussi Paatola from the Tammelakulma Housing Company says:

“Our buildings are already quite old and this has been the right time for renovation. If you wait too long, the renovation gets only more expensive. Nevertheless, people have been afraid of the renovation works and at first it was difficult to get them along. Especially the elderly people have been afraid of the costs and the noise that might be caused by the works.”

It took the Housing Company and the City if Tampere many meetings and explanations of what the energy-efficient refurbishment would entail and its potential benefits before they managed to convince the residents to agree to take an ambitious approach. Once they had provided them with all the information, the tenants became very interested.

Today, the Tammelakulma residents are very proud of what they have achieved. Mr Paatola says:

“Everything worked according to plan and we are pleased with the results. We are not only benefitting from lower costs, we now also enjoy upgraded flats that are more comfortable and more valuable. That is something that our neighbours can envy.”

The Housing Company has added a monitoring unit to measure the impact of the energy-efficient renovation and expects to have the first results in Autumn 2015 when the renovated buildings have been used for one year.

Tiina Sahakari from the City of Tampere is optimistic regarding the results:

“Currently all relevant data are being collected. We are hoping to achieve at least a 50% reduction of the energy consumption in Tammelakulma, and we believe that we can achieve that target.“

This would also be good news for the other Housing Companies in Tampere. They have already signalled interest for the refurbishment of more than 250,000 m2.