Air

3.2. Eco- and energy-efficient technologies

Aim: The solutions introduce smart technology that encourages citizens to decrease their own, municipal and regional ecological footprint. Examples show that technology can be used as motivation for inhabitants in order to reduce their energy consumption by using eco- and energy efficient solutions. These can be e.g. visualizing the real energy consumption and CO2 emission, more efficient use of existing electricity and energy sources etc.

Facilitator: Carina Aschan, Project Manager, Umeå Sweden
Rapporteur: Emma Edling, Co-ordinator, Umeå, Sweden

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The parallel session is part of the project ” Green Citizens for Europe – Innovative tools and methods for interactive and co-creative citizens”, funded by the LIFE+ programme of the European Union.

Architectural competition and solutions for sustainability of a new Finnish office building Synergia

Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and Senate Properties have outlined a building process, which strives for highly energy-efficient and eco-efficient new building for SYKE in Helsinki. The presentation explains how the design contest was organized, to reassure that the design teams would have the required knowledge to plan sustainable premises. The environmental criteria for the comparison of competition entries will be introduced: fulfilling the criteria for 'almost zero-energy buildings', local production of renewable energy, a rough estimate of the carbon footprint of the main structures of the building, and other environmental objectives stressed by the designers themselves. The selected six teams provided proposals for the Synergy Building in October 2010. The presentation shows some figures of the winner designs and their ecological features.
Ari Nissinen, Senior researcher, Finnish environmental institute

Individual energy measuring in apartments

Individual measuring of energy and water in the apartment motivates the inhabitants to save in their energy consumption. Through placing several meter options in its buildings, AB Bostaden in Umeå, Sweden studies how visual design and interactive communication can increase the tenants´ motivation to save in the total energy consumption of the building.
Harry Jonsson, Head of IT, Umeå, Sweden

Major investment in biogas in Örebro, Sweden

On 1 October 2009 the Municipality of Örebro put into action, in conjunction with other public sector organisations, local trade and industry, and local farmers, several parts of a widespread scheme to increase the local production and use of biogas (methane). On the same day, 61 new buses using biogas began to appear on the streets of the town. The total investment amounts to 35 million euro, of which 20 million euro was biogas-related. The socio-economic benefit is calculated to be in the range 2 to 3.5 million euro per year. The presentation will end with some recommendations, based on our experience, for municipalities considering a similar approach.
Tomas Bergkvist, Planning Officer at the Climate Office, Örebro Municipality, Sweden

Replace carbon, oil and nuclear power by heat recovery – and enjoy it

Normally when you use a stove, the same amount of energy that comes into the house, goes out through the chimney. What Savumax does is to recover the spare heat into water and distribute the heating energy to space heating and to domestic hot water. In modern small houses that use the stove, the Savumax-system is fully capable to produce all the space heating and domestic hot water that is needed. This is one example of Savumax solutions for heat recovery. We still have an enormous potential to be utilized in heat recovery and free sources of energy in the northern countries. With these solutions we can reduce our footprint and make an effort that counts.
Tony Nikolas Salomaa, Partner, Savumax Oy, Finland

Simulation of consequences of climate change

How to implement ambitious targets concerning energy efficiency in buildings? Solutions depends on competence, initiatives and regulations. Energy efficiency in new buildings will have to be in the forefront, but we must take action in existing buildings as well. Can the public sector take a leading role?
Rune Kloster Tvedt, Adviser, The Norwegian Association for Local and Regional Authorities, Norway

Summary of parallel session 3.2 Eco- and energy-efficient technologies

The parallel session was part of the project ”Green Citizens of Europe – Innovative tools and methods for interactive and co-creative citizens”, funded by the LIFE+ programme of the European Union. The project is focusing on sustainable travel and sustainable housing and uses different methods to change behaviours.

The aim of the sessions is to introduce smart technology that encourages citizens to change behaviour and decrease their ecological footprint. Technology can be used as motivation for inhabitants in order to reduce their energy consumption by using eco- and energy efficient solutions, for example visualizing the real energy consumption.

Presentations:

Ari Nissinen: Architectural competition and solutions for sustainability of a new Finnish office building Synergia

Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and Senate Properties have outlined a building process, which strives for highly energy-efficient and eco-efficient new building for SYKE in Helsinki. Ari Nissinen presented the design competition and solutions for sustainability of office and laboratory building which will be finished in 2013-2014. The many aspects were low energy houses, effective space, measuring real time energy use, etc. The winner was APILA who had the lowest energy use. Nissinen means that we need the use of the expertise from the architects, starting from the formulation of the need for new buildings and lasting to the first years of the use of the building, showing how the solutions succeed. The solution can be adapted to every design competition and we can learn from the solution by real-life examples and how to formulate ecological criteria in the competition programme.

Harry Jonsson: Individual energy measuring in apartments

Harry Jonsson told us about the Echolog, the individual measuring of energy and water in apartments that Bostaden AB in Umeå, Sweden, has placed in its buildings. Totally there will be 500 displays placed in the hallways of the apartments. He means that it motivates the inhabitants to save in their energy consumption. One important thing is that the flat terminal has to be interesting and easy to understand. The values that are showing on the display are in real time and unique for every apartment. Jonsson believes that the tenants think this solution is good because they have become more aware of the effects.

Tomas Bergkvist: Major investment in biogas in Örebro, Sweden

Tomas Bergkvist presented the increase of the local production and use of biogas (methane) in the municipality of Örebro, Sweden. The filling station is located to be easily accessible to the public, companies and taxis. The demand was small five years ago but the last two years it has increased rapidly, which create problems. A difficulty with biogas is that it can not be stored. The production must therefore be aligned to the demand, which is not always easy. One way is to have a stockpile of liquid natural gas, but then the climate benefits will fail. To carry out the solution in practice there is a need of political consensus on ambitious environmental and climate goals, technical expertise and long-term thinking. There is also a need of financial projections that take into account the costs of environmental and health effects. We can learn from the solution that scalability is best for the economy and to use vehicles in areas where there is a great benefit, that is heavy vehicles in urban environments. The solutions that are needed are sufficiently large volumes of raw material and it is perhaps necessary for small municipalities to merge with other municipalities or companies. There is a double benefit by taking advantage of methane gas, but not everyone understands that you can combine the energy and waste management.

Tony Nikolas Salomaa: Replace carbon, oil and nuclear power by heat recovery – and enjoy it

Tony Nikolas Salomaa explained that Savumax recovers the spare heat into water and distribute the heating energy to space heating and to domestic hot water. The Savumax system is capable to produce all the space heating and domestic hot water that is needed, store the heat and use it later. Salomaa explains that with these solutions we can reduce the global warming and make an effort that counts. Critical success factors are that the energy price has to reflect emissions. Salomaa thinks there is a need of knowledge of the construction industry and local partners are important. To make this a success we need to educate the people about the existence, settlers in particular.

Rune Kloster Tvedt: Simulation of consequences of climate change

Rune Kloster Tvedt talked about how to implement ambitious targets concerning energy efficiency in buildings. The solutions depend on competence, initiatives and regulations. He also pointed out that energy efficiency in new buildings will have to be in the forefront. Kloster Tvedt recommends that we should start building high quality buildings concerning energy efficiency as soon as possible. He presents the public sector as a proactive actor. To carry out the solution in practice there is a need of politicians who can take a stand on behalf of responsible use of scares resources. What we can learn from the solution is to use specific examples as an element to simplify a broader scope of targets. Kloster Tvedt believes that the solutions needed are better quality on measuring techniques, competence in the building sector, economic initiatives and mandatory for municipalities to implement more strict regulations in specific areas.

Panel discussion

During the panel discussion the audience contributed and pointed out “the power of knowledge”. We already have the technology, but there is not a technical solution to everything. That is why we have to work more on awareness and behaviour change and we should not underestimate the power of the consumers. Further education to the citizens would be a good idea to increase the awareness. The importance is for them to be able to see the long-term effect.

Another important factor to further strengthen sustainability is brave and committed politicians. Municipalities need to get together and set more stringent efficiency requirements for new buildings, joint forces that make it clear to the construction sector. There are existing and cost-effective solutions but we have to demand them.

The politicians got power but one contestant in the audience pointed out that we can not put all the responsibility on them. We can all take the solutions back to our own city and adopt what we can due to our own preconditions. An important next step is motivation and encourage to those who tries the new technology out. Publicity is also significant since media spreads the word and can inform and motivate other people.