Energy renovation increased the value of a 1960s apartment building – “It is important to bring the quality of housing into line with today’s requirements”

The value of the housing company’s flats increased while the comfort of living improved. Residents were surprised by the benefits of the energy renovation.

The renovations of the housing company Pieni Villasaarentie in Vuosaari had been postponed for years, and a large project was now in the pipeline. The 1960s block of flats required a thorough energy renovation. The long list included façade renovation, additional heat insulation, replacement of drains and transition to geothermal heating.

Despite the workload, the housing company’s chair Risto Lähteenmäki started the project energetically, as the end result would be rewarding. “We found out at an early stage that an energy renovation would bring permanent savings. Although the charge for financial costs increases, the maintenance charge will decrease.”

Nearly €300,000 in government grants

The housing company started out by exploring different financing options. Three funding options and their possible combinations were considered as options.

The shareholders quickly started supporting the renovation because an energy renovation pays for itself. As the large-scale renovation involved much more than just energy renovation, the measures were eligible for a ARA subsidy, which the housing company eventually received for nearly €300,000.

 Plenty of heat even in freezing temperatures

The ongoing energy renovation will take at least a couple of years, but it will bring many benefits. In the energy renovation, district heating will be replaced by geothermal heating. A small electric boiler acting as a backup power plant will be used to prepare for extremely cold winters. Solar panels will be installed on the roofs to provide electricity for the housing company and the pumps. In addition, credit calculation is used to divide the surplus energy among the shareholders.

When the building is subjected to additional thermal insulation and thermal plastering and the windows are replaced, the structural draught and air leaks will be removed. The heating system will be completely readjusted and sensors will be installed in at least one third of the flats so that the temperature can be monitored and controlled.

“Heat is easily wasted in houses of this age, which you used to feel in winter,” says Risto Lähteenmäki. “It’s important to bring the quality of housing into line with today’s requirements. ”

Value of flats up, CO2 emissions down

The energy renovation combined with the façade renovation contributes to the increase in the value of the flats. The saleability of the flats is completely different from what it was before the renovation. Thanks to geothermal heating and solar panels, the attractiveness of the flats will rise to a new level.

The renovation may also affect the emergence of a future resident profile for those who are looking for energy-efficient housing. The resident profile may change towards younger families with children. This will be taken into account when planning the yard at the end of the renovation.

“It’s interesting to see how the group of residents will develop over the next ten years,” Lähteenmäki ponders.

But there is more to the renovation than that. The carbon dioxide emissions of the housing company will decrease by about 140 tonnes on an annual basis, i.e. up to about the annual carbon footprint of 14 Finns.

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.