I know it seems hard to believe, but we are still digesting the reports prepared by design team at the end of second design phase. Three weeks and I think we still have much to do to equip ourselves with a strong understanding of what our options are and what the appropriate path forward is given our desire to balance the competing interests of economy, ecology and equity. As it turns out, it’s not easy!
Early studies from the design team indicate that there is a positive relationship between pursuing EPBD complaince as an energy strategy, and the block's carbon footprint. The more "to the letter" our project definition of EPBD, the more carbon emissions are mitigated. This makes clear the importance of the political dimension of EPBD. Member States will be left to define the performance level and energy scenarios for buildings on their own. The more aggressive their targets, the more likely Europe can achieve its emissions goals.
With much of the Sitra team on the road this week, there is little to report. Jukka brings us news of two projects in Finland that will be important benchmarks:
- The nearly zero energy residential block in Järvenpää: The Järvenpää house will be completed in 2011 and will have 44 apartments serving elderly people. Like Low2No, the planners have set compliance with the EU’s EPBD as the energy use standard. Energy will be provided by ground source heat pumps and photovoltaics. The project is similar to the Kuopas Building in Kuopio, and both are the first examples of net or nearly zero energy buildings in Finland. Sitra’s Energy Programme has been actively developing and financing the Järvenpää project.
- The Synergy House in Helsinki: This project will be the future headquarters for theFinnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and will feature timber frame construction and nearly zero energy consumption.
It is exciting to see so many sustainable building projects being realized in Finland! Something is happening here…