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The Low2No project is designed to help transition our cities to a low carbon future. We aim to balance economy, ecology and society through strategic investments and interventions in the built environment.

41. Week in Review

BIM model screen shot of Sitra's timber office ©Arup
BIM model screen shot of Sitra's timber office ©Arup

Back on the job here at Low2No. Work has been proceeding at a blistering pace in London and Berlin as our design team prepares to deliver our L2, or design development, drawings next week. This is a significant point in the project's progression as "end of L2" is when the local designers will take a leadership role in project implementation.

Interior BIM model screen shot of Sitra's timber office ©Arup
Interior BIM model screen shot of Sitra's timber office ©Arup

This month is the moment when the client team will step back and perform two critical tasks: costing and project review. Even in strong markets, a €60M investment can cause some consternation. But as the euro's stability decreases with every news cycle, we have some difficult decisions ahead of us.

We are committed to a triple bottom line plus carbon (TBL+CO2) approach and will review this next phase with this principle as our top level priority. It is increasingly clear that planning requirements and real estate costs make development in Helsinki difficult, especially without basic government support instruments (such as feed-in-tariffs), but we hope to find a way to make a low carbon, mixed-use development economically viable. 

BIM model screen shot of Sitra's timber office ©Arup
BIM model screen shot of Sitra's timber office ©Arup

Interior BIM model screen shot of Sitra's timber office ©Arup
Interior BIM model screen shot of Sitra's timber office ©Arup

The client team is working to develop a joint company (landlord/janitor company) to own and manage the block's common infrastructure, energy infrastructure (PV), commercial space, and parking. When developing a block-wide sustainable solution, shared ownership provides critical synergistic benefits and is necessary to manage the block's shared resources as one entity. A joint management company solution is a new step toward social sustainability in Finland.

Sitra is also organizing a meeting with leadership from the real estate industry who are involved in writing new legislation for "3D" real estate formation (mixed-use code)—possibly to be implemented for the first time in our block. A mixed-use code will allow challenging ownership conditions to be overcome more easily, such as the one we face in our block, where the basement can have property lines independent from above ground property.

Word comes from Jukka this week on two projects he is shepherding: the European 11 Competition (he is a jury member and will tell more once it is public) and a board meeting of the LAICA project which helps individuals commercialize innovative energy solutions. The Energy Programme has continued to expand its impact and we look forward to more.

October 7th, 2011

Posted by: Justin W. Cook

Category: Weeknotes