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Multicity project offers environmental solutions to Finland’s urban areas

Multicity project offers environmental solutions to Finland’s urban areas

A landmark initiative involving 6 cities has allowed them to find new ways to further combat climate change on their premises

Over the last few years, six of Finland’s largest cities have taken part in the Energy Wise Cities Project. Through it, they sought new smart and low-carbon solutions to improve the energy efficiency of urban residential and service properties. In addition, the project looked at the development of regional energy systems and the design of zero energy blocks.

One of the goals of the project partners (Oulu, Turku, Tampere, Vantaa, Espoo and Helsinki) was to find new ways to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and to develop regional energy systems – a goal which they have successfully reached.

Working together to the benefit of all citizens

New energy solutions have been sought in collaboration with companies, building users and energy experts. The common need of cities is to reduce the life cycle carbon footprint and life cycle costs of buildings through measures related to the many different levels and stages of city project planning.

“In the past, energy solutions for individual buildings in cities may have been considered. However, the life cycle calculations of the sites involved in our pilot projects show what results will be achieved when, for example, the sports area is developed as a whole, where the condensate of the ice rink heats the swimming pool water,” explained project leader Tuomas Vanhanen.

In the Kupittaa diverse sports area in Turku, it was investigated which energy efficiency measures in the area are worthwhile to implement and which energy recycling opportunities exist between the sites.

The results show that the region has significant recoverable energy flows and other potential for energy efficiency improvements, which, if effectively exploited, can halve the region's primary energy needs and achieve significantly lower life cycle costs (35%) and a carbon footprint of around 30%.

Future energy solutions were also envisioned for the Oulu Raksila sports area. The pilot found that the condensing heat from the Oulu ice rink and the training ice rink, which are located close to each other, could be led to the swimming pool via a low-temperature network, whereby the pool's water masses would store heat. This measure could lead to annual savings in energy bills of around € 120,000. The storage of condensing heat would also have an effect on the elasticity of demand, as the water temperature could be raised by a degree in the morning before the busiest time of use of the swimming pool.

The results of the Energy Wise Cities project, which will end at the end of the year, will have an impact on the development of future smart and energy-efficient solutions and the achievement of climate goals.

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