YIT AND LAHTI PENSIONER HOUSING FUND BUILD THE ONNELANPOLKU SHELTERED HOME AS A NEARLY ZERO ENERGY BUILDING IN FINLAND – MAJOR SUPPORT FROM THE HOUSING FINANCE AND DEVELOPMENT CENTRE OF FINLAND (ARA)
YIT and the pensioner housing fund of Lahti (Lahden vanhusten asuntosäätiö) have agreed on the construction of the sheltered home Onnelanpolku as a zero-energy building. The housing and service building to be built in the Paavola district of Lahti consists of approximately 230 apartments for the elderly and parking spaces for 103 vehicles. YIT Construction Ltd and YIT Kiinteistötekniikka Oy will carry out the sizable project as a turnkey delivery. The total floor area of the project will be 16,335 m2. The value YIT’s contract is nearly EUR 32 million, and the total value of the project approximately EUR 36 million.
The agreement was signed in December 2011. Construction work has begun with a demolition phase in January 2012, and the building will be completed at the end of June 2014. The employment effect in the region will be significant, as nearly 300 people will be employed by the project. The impact will also be felt in the construction product industry and the service sector.
"The Onnelanpolku sheltered home not only has the modern objective of cutting the energy consumption, but also has an advanced service concept. We aim at a living environment where the elderly can continue to live their lives whatever their physical condition – whether they are very active or have limited ability to function. The house is thoroughly accessible and will have many services that make it possible for the elderly to live in their own private home. Services must be brought to the people, not the other way round," says Sanna Mäkinen, the executive manager of the housing fund.
"Last year, Onnelanpolku was ARA's largest rental apartment development project. By increasing the building rights and making the community structure more compact at the centre of the city, we are able to offer sheltered and rental housing at a reasonable level of rent, approximately EUR 12/m2. Construction costs will also remain moderate. We have made a decision on a EUR 24,749,417 loan with interest subsidy and a EUR 11,610,678 investment grant for the project," says director general Hannu Rossilahti of ARA.
Zero-energy concept aims to fulfill the 2022 energy efficiency requirements
The energy concept and practical arrangements of the Onnelanpolku sheltered home emphasise the management of energy efficiency, energy-efficient design, low energy consumption, use of renewable sources of energy and general efficiency. Onnelanpolku is the first major sheltered home project in which a significant share of energy comes from local renewable sources such as solar heating and solar power, even through the house is also connected to the district heating network. All energy solutions have been selected based on careful models, simulations and testing.
"The target is an important large-scale demonstration of looking at energy efficiency according to the stipulations of the 2012 energy regulation; the energy efficiency level of the project is at a level close to zero-energy construction that will be the rule in approximately 10 years," says senior lead Jared Kurnitski from the Sitra Energy Programme, which provides funding for the research carried out within the project.
At the tendering phase, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland assisted the client as an expert on the subject. VTT prepared the energy efficiency requirement for the invitation to tender and participated in the quality assessment and scoring of the received tenders.
"The Onnelanpolku procurement process experimented with new ways of finding the best suppliers for ambitious energy objectives. Even though price remained a major factor, the final selection was made based on environmental and quality considerations. The scoring system developed for the selection process revealed the importance of looking at the solution in a holistic way. The ultimate costs do not differ much from the costs of traditional sheltered home projects," says customer manager Jyri Nieminen from VTT.
The future YIT Homes: nearly zero level of energy consumption
The zero energy concept is a result of YIT's development work, carried out together with Suunnittelutieto-Team Oy and Wise Group Finland Oy. YIT aimed at developing a concept for the construction of buildings at a nearly zero level of energy consumption, compliant with the energy efficiency directive. The concept would then be used in the construction of YIT Homes in Finland. The concept pays special attention to the reliability of the solutions. All solutions are tested as a part of the development work before the completion of the building, ensuring the suitability of the solutions for housing projects.
"Onnelanpolku is the first housing project to apply several energy solutions that have previously been restricted to office and business construction. As a renewable energy source, the building approaching a zero energy level uses solar energy which will cover approximately 20% of the total energy consumption. Systems such as the ventilation fans will use solar energy. Floor heating and the heating of service water will also use solar energy," says regional director Jukka Pohjola from YIT.
Minimal consumption of electricity will be achieved through efficient ventilation machines and pumps, LED lighting and the use of motion detectors and daylight sensors for adjusting the lighting in common facilities. Ventilation will be adjusted based on conditions and presence in the area, and the apartments will have room-specific ventilation controls. The yard defrosting system will use the returning water of the district heating system. Onnelanpolku will be connected to a YIT control room, and careful monitoring and measurements will ensure optimal energy efficiency.
Jukka Pohjola, Regional Director, Building Construction, YIT Construction Services Finland, tel. +358 400 216 618, email@example.com
Ari Västinsalo, Project Development Manager, YIT Building Services, tel. +358 50 594 1643, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sanna Mäkinen, Executive Manager, Lahden vanhusten asuntosäätiö, tel. +358 400 543 828, email@example.com
Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications
YIT celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2012. The company was established in the Grand Duchy of Finland in 1912. Today, YIT is a leading European service company in building systems, construction services and services for industry. Our 26,000 professionals serve customers in 14 countries - in the Nordic countries, Central Europe, Russia and the Baltic countries. We have grown together with our customers and developed our services in line with the changes taking place in different societies. We intend to continue on that track. Our vision is to lead the way in creating and maintaining good living environments. In 2010, YIT's revenue was approximately EUR 3.8 billion. YIT's shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. www.yitgroup.com
Lahden vanhusten asuntosäätiö (LVAS) has produced rental and sheltered housing and services in the Lahti region for the elderly and for people with special needs since 1963. The fund offers housing for people from 55 years of age and up and aims at promoting and supporting quality living of the elderly in their own homes. www.lvas.fi