Energy renovation saved a 1970s block of flats

As a result of the urbanisation boom in the 1970s, a whole district of blocks of flats was built in Itä-Pasila. Many of these buildings are currently in urgent need of energy renovation.

The energy renovation of Asunto Oy Asemapäällikönkatu 2 in Itä-Pasila, Helsinki, began with leaking prefabricated unit jointing. In some parts of the structure, weaknesses were found that let moisture in. Instead of just repairing the jointing, the housing company had to plan a major energy renovation.

Energy renovation paid off

The renovation was planned quickly but systematically.

Based on the repair plan, it was decided that the building must undergo a façade repair, which was decided to be implemented with additional heat insulation and thermal plastering. In addition, all the windows in the house were replaced. As heating was one of the biggest energy-wasting components in the building, it was also decided to implement heat recovery in the building.

The renovation was carried out by carefully selected experts. The total cost of the repair was in the order of a few million euros, but the budget was met

“The housing company is so big that the repair costs are of this magnitude. If we had not made these repairs, the delay would have cost more,” says Matti Lehtonen, chair of the housing company’s board.

Saving nearly €200,000 in a short time

The renovation has already been very profitable. The cost of district heating has fallen by half, and the carbon footprint has also fallen significantly. Nowadays, the carbon footprint can also be easily tracked in the housing company with new technology.

“The heat recovery equipment was started in November 2018. From that moment to this day, the housing company has saved nearly €190,000,” Lehtonen says.

For the renovation, a bank loan was taken out for 15 years. Some of the shareholders paid off the loan at once, and the rest pay it in the charge for capital costs. The situation is reviewed annually in the light of savings.

Building modernisation continues

The next step is to renovate the garage and electrify all the parking spaces. Discussions have involved installing solar cells on the roof of the building, and the possibility of geothermal heating is also of interest. The successful energy renovation also left a positive attitude towards future renovations.

“If all of the housing companies in Helsinki did this, there would be great energy savings and the city’s entire carbon footprint would be significantly reduced,” says Matti Lehtonen.

Matti Lehtonen’s 4 tips for a successful renovation 

  1. Have a thorough condition survey done.You should not make guesses when you start a renovation. A condition survey provides facts of repair needs that the housing company may not have any idea about.
  2. Find out the references and backgrounds of the professionals. Adequate studies and references are important in order for the housing company to be sure of the decisions made.
  3. Minimise surprises.The tendering documents should be carefully considered and sufficiently comprehensive. The financial plan should take account of a certain margin for surprise.
  4. Inform the residents.Choose appropriate means of communication to inform residents so that they will accept the renovation more easily.

Read more about how you can get an energy renovation efficiently started in your own housing company.

Company presentation: The City of Helsinki’s team of energy experts offers impartial low-threshold advice at various stages of the energy renovation. The service is free of charge and intended for all housing companies consisting of residential blocks of flats in Helsinki.