Construction – Mitigation
Approximately 30% of the energy consumed in Finland is used by buildings. Mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from buildings and real estate is based on reducing the consumption of energy and improving energy efficiency as well as replacing fossil energy with renewable energy. Heating, ventilation, hot water and lighting consume the most energy. In Finland, heating of buildings causes 30% of the greenhouse gas emissions.
New building as low energy or passive houses
In the case of new buildings, there is decisive possibility to reduce the heating need of a building. All new construction should be implemented as low energy or passive houses in which the need for heating energy is reduced as much as possible with reasonable costs. Implementing zero energy buildings is possible even in Finland. Use of wood as construction material stores carbon and thus reduces greenhouse gas emissions caused by construction.
Renovation, adjustment and monitoring of energy use
In renovation, the goal should be to at least halve energy consumption. Most cost effective means include heat recovery improvement solutions implemented in the ventilation system. Ventilation causes approximately half of the heat loss of buildings. Approximately 20% of heat is carried away with hot tap water.
To improve a building's energy efficiency, important parts are played by the adjustment and control of heating, ventilation, water consumption and lighting in accordance with need. Saving measures are made more effective and the user motivated by reactive, real-time monitoring of consumption.
District heating based on renewable energy is an ideal heating solution for buildings. Furthermore, the joint production of heat and electricity improves the efficiency of production. Outside the heating network, oil heating should be replaced by low emission heating methods such as the use of woodchips or ground heat. In houses heated with electricity, energy consumption can be evened out and reduced with the use of heat pumps, fireplaces and solar collectors.
The number of holiday houses increases rapidly and their significance in the consumption of electricity is already notable. Holiday houses should be designed and build so that they do not require continuous heating. Otherwise, the same energy saving measures apply to them as with other construction.