The publication “Energy efficient and ecological housing in Finland, Estonia, and Latvia: current experiences and future perspectives” is available

“Energy efficient and ecological housing in Finland, Estonia, and Latvia: current experiences and future perspectives”

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Eco House Serious Game

Group of students from Tallinn University Institute of Informatics developed serious computer game for EcoHousing project. This activity took place in the framework of software development practical workshop. EcoHousing project partners created the design of the game logic and students produced the graphics and the code.

Storyline
Player is the head of the small family who lives in the small old house. House has an deprecated heating system and not very good insulation. Player has to make decisions how to renovate heating system, insulation, ventilation, and other elements in the house. All decisions will effect purchasing and maintenance costs. Unexpected events can appear, e.g. fuel prices will rise, summer is extremely hot or winter deadly freezing. The aim of the game is to reduce costs for heating, make your house environmentally friendly and make your family happy.

Students who participated in development:
Ragnar Säde – project manager, development
Priit Võrk – Testing, development
Martin Vahtra – documentation, development
Lennart Lüsi – architecture, development
Jaanika Jane Tõnurist – Graphical design

Game is accessible at http://raxsade.planet.ee/portfolio/js/ecohouse/

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RTU Conference “Environmental and Climate Technologies 2013” 15-16 October 2013

The subsection “Environmental and Climate Technologies” of the 54th Riga Technical University International Scientific Conference was held on October 15-16 in Faculty of Power and Electrical Engineering. The subsection is traditionally organized by Institute of Energy Systems and Environment. In total 52 participants from 13 different countries took part in the conference as speakers or with poster presentations.

Most of the participants were from Latvia by presenting the researches that has been carried out in Riga Technical University, University of Latvia, Latvia University of Agriculture, Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre, as well as the company “Latvia’s State Forests”. Relatively large number of participants was from Lithuania and Estonia, representing Tallinn University of Technology, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University and Lithuanian Institute of Geology and Geography. Also scientists from Korea, Indonesia, Turkey, Norway, Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Germany, Croatia and Ukraine took part in the conference by presenting their newest research.

This year there were four sessions organized within the conference. On 15th October researches were presented at the session “Sustainable usage of resources” and at the special session “Geological storage of CO2 as a way to reduce carbon footprint”. This special session was organized in collaboration with the association “CO2GeoNet” within the framework of the project “CGS Europe”. The latest session “Development of low carbon technologies” and the poster session, held on 16th October was in tight connection with several items of Echousing procedding.

Full conference program and material are available at: http://www.videszinatne.lv/index.php/en/articles/events/konference-pulce-zinatniekus

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Anna Beloborodko introducing EcoHousing project

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Presentation of project EcoHousing in Central Baltic Showcase Conference

On 10 October, 2013, among more than 150 participants from Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Sweden, representatives of project Ecohousing came to Stockholm for the third Central Baltic Showcase Conference.

Project Ecohousing representatives: Erkki Pesonen (TTS) and Anna Beloborodko (RTU) (Photo: Leena Kemppainen)

The aim of Showcase Conference was to expand the communication networks between participants of various projects and to present the results of 30 projects in an entertaining fashion during a two hour Project Fair.

The stand of project Ecohousing drew the attention of many participants. Most of them were interested in project activities about household energy efficiency, better use of household appliances as well as research about non-wood biofuels.

Most participants admitted that they live in apartments with centralised heating and were fascinated about the Latvian example of multi-family building heated with only renewable energy sources, which is being monitored within project Ecohousing.

Participants were delighted about project result dissemination approaches – dedicated advisory phone line, Facebook page and Project home page.

Consultations during Project Fair (Photo: http://www.centralbaltic.eu/)

During the Project Fair we not only told others about Energy efficient and ecological housing, but also gathered knowledge on variety of other interesting subjects as sheep farming, better ways to teach mathematics and environmental education, healthy eating habits that create less impact on environment and many others.

We became good friends with representatives of another green energy promoting project WESA-“Wave energy for a sustainable archipelago”. This project optimised wave power systems, in order to produce wave power even during cold Baltic winters when the top of the sea is covered in ice. After on-site voting project WESA also received the programme’s annual Bouncing Float Award.

In addition to networking and communicating with other projects, all participants were able to look back on history of the Central Baltic INTERREG IV A Programme 2007-2013 through presentation of Bo Storrank and Linda Talve from the Joint Technical Secretariat and plan strategies for future developments as Ülari Alamets, the Programme Writer for the Central Baltic Programme 2014-2020, provided newest information about the plans for next planning period.

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Winter is coming

Summer is over and winter is coming. Are you prepared? Check out our latest EcoHousing video and get some useful tips how to beat the cold winter.

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How to use your washing machine

Do you know how to wash your clothes? Do you even know how to use your washing machine? Here is an instructional video that will give some advice what should be kept in mind when using washing machine and taking care of your clothes.

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The Housing Fair 2013 in Hyvinkää, Finland – visitors from Ecohousing and Smart Living projects

The Housing Fair is the largest housing and living event in Finland, and it is also one of the most popular summer events in Finland. Every year, for four weeks in July-August, various living solutions and residential areas are showcased at the Housing Fair. The fair attracts some 120 000 – 170 000 visitors every year and this years total amount was 131 000. The needs of different demographical groups have been carefully considered at the planning stage. The latest technologies and innovations in construction and interior design, as well as landscaping solutions are presented at the fair.

The Housing Fairs have been organized since 1970. This year the fair was held in Hyvinkää between 12th July and 11th August. The fair area had 33 homes of which 29 were open to the public providing an overview of developments in building design and construction. There are different sizes of houses for different kind of families. Houses with moderate size and moderate budget were well featured as well. That had also been wished by the fair visitors earlier.

Some of the main themes of the fair were enjoyment of the comfort of homes and everyday activity. Those themes are visible in the houses in many ways. Home spas, places where to relax and small everyday luxury are found in many houses. Ski routes and forest trails are located close by the area, and the services of the Hyvinkää city-center are just a few kilometers away. A speciality in the area is a Japanese stone garden with a brook, which utilizes storm waters.

Another theme of the Hyvinkää housing fair was kitchens. A special attention in the interior design was given to the functionality of the kitchens. The kitchens were mainly bright open plan kitchens with direct connection to the dining area and living room. Multifunctional islands were widely used in the kitchens. They serve for many purposes like eating snacks, baking or as sideboard at the party. The household appliances in the kitchens were generally energy-efficient and there were also appliances that did increase safety, like induction hobs. TTS had special stand in the fair where TTS researchers Tarja Marjomaa, Anne Korhonen, Sari Liski-Markkanen and Anneli Reisbacka gave information about kitchen planning and eco efficient housing (EcoHousing project theme) to the visitors.

TTS Tarja Marjomaa and Anneli Reisbacka gave architect Matti Kuittinen information about the new, energy saving tumble dryers at TTS stand

As the year before, the area promotes energy-efficient construction and the use of renewable energy sources such as solar power. The new legislation requires the houses to improve the energy-efficiency by 20% compared to the current level as well as to increase the use of renewable energies. The houses at the Hyvinkää Housing fair are energy-efficient. 14 houses achieve at least the energy-efficiency class A. One of the houses, number 17 Villa Isover, is aiming to reach the zero-energy level. Most houses are wooden, but there are also stone houses on show. In many houses there are several kinds of renewable energy hybrid solutions for the energy production. The most common hybrid solution is the combination of solar energy, thermal energy produced via the fire places and geothermal energy.

Smart Living project group with some researchers from Ecohousing project group visited the Housing Fair in August. The special attention was given to two houses; Villa Isover, house number 17 and Lammi-Kivitalo Maja, house number 25.

Villa Isover: Carried out in accordance with zero-energy principles
Villa Isover is an example of a house that has been constructed with zero-energy principles. The aim is that the house will produce as much energy as it consumes. The architecture is elegant, but the implementation of the floor plan is however not totally functional.

Electrity consumption per year is estimated to be 8200 kWh and estimated energy production 8600 kWh. Heating system of Villa Isover is ground-source heat pump with water circulation floor heating, fireplace, solar collectors (6 m2, for warming the water) and solar panels (80 m2, electricity production). The ventilation utilises an underground piping system, which heats the air in the winter and cools it in the summer. Villa Isover is very tight, U-level of the roof is 0,06 W/m2K and U-level of the walls 0,09 W/m2K. The measurement of energy consumption continues after the Fair with several indicators and will be followed up in Motiva´s project. (http://www.energiatehokaskoti.fi/kohteet/seurantakohteet/villa_isover)

Villa Isover

The group checked the model of the wall structure of Villa Isover

Lammi-Kivitalo Maja: Elegant and personal floor plan and construction
Lammi-Kivitalo Maja has very functional floor plan with a combined open plan kitchen, dining area and living room. The storages of the house are well thought-out, there are for example plenty of room for sports equipment next to the entrance and a separate walk-in closet next to the utility room. The utility room itself is wide and there is a lot of room for laundry treatment. TTS selected Lammi-Kivitalo Maja together with Villa Domus, house number 22 and Villa Ainoa, house number 30, as functionally best houses.
Energy issues have been well thought-out in both Villa Domus and Villa Ainoa. Villa Domus has a moderate floor space of 127m2. It has a functional kitchen with certain good qualities like enough table space for working, natural light, plenty of room for waste sorting and a traditional baking oven. In Villa Ainoa, 122 m2, there are solar panels which produce part of the electricity for the house. There is a very functional sauna department with access to the terrace. Utility room is nicely in its own space separated from the sauna department.

Lammi-Kivitalo Maja

Links:

Authors: Maritta Paakkinen and Minna Kuusela

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Non-woody Biomass Briquettes. Fuel Analysis and Combustion Tests. Project Report

Different types of biomass were gathered to create biomass briquettes that were afterwards tested in a room heating stove. The gathered materials are leftovers from different production processes with the exception of the Common reed that is a widespread wild plant specie. During the collection of these materials a study on the availability of herbaceous resources for production of solid biomass fuels in Latvia was carried out, identifying the availability of these materials in Latvia.

The full report is available here: NON-WOODY BIOMASS BRIQUETTES. FUEL ANALYSIS AND COMBUSTION TESTS

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Renewable energy gathered listeners in Helsinki

Heating small houses with renewable energy raised interest and gathered more than 50 interested listeners during the OmaKoti- fair (OwnHouse) in Helsinki in April 2013. This seminar was organized by the EcoHousing project run by TTS – Työtehoseura.

Finland is proceeding well with increasing the use of renewable energy. The aim is to reach 38 percent share of renewable energy of the total energy consumption by the year 2020. At this point we have already reached the share of 28,5 percent, told the head of the renewable energy unit Timo Määttä from Motiva. Managing director Mikko Juva from the Development Center of One-family house construction (PRKK) also emphasized the relevance of wood in the energy consumption of dwellings.

Hannes Tuohiniitty from Bioenergia registered association told that the use of chopped firewood is notable, since 6-7 million cubic meters of it is used annually for heating small houses in Finland. Also modern pellet heating systems are well manageable – pellets move from storage to the burner with suction and have both automatic sweep and burner cleaning. A “ready to use” installed pellet heating system costs about 9 500 – 25 000 Euros. Nowadays there are also so called hybrid heating systems that combine solar and bioenergy. Solar cells on the roof produce energy and heat up warm water during March and September. Modern pellet fireplace can also warm up several rooms at once when the heat is conducted through flues to other rooms. This kind of heating solution can be purchased with 3 000 – 4 000 Euros. A pellet fireplace can also be connected to the water rotation heating.

Architect and researcher Matti Kuittinen from the Aalto University told that unfortunately the carbon footprint of a wooden apartment house is only observed during its’ usage time. A comprehensive inspection would, however, require also the manufacture, erection, transportation and the carbon footprint caused by the rest of the life cycle of the building.

By Liisa Lahdensaari-Nätt, TTS

Presentations from the seminar:
Energiaseminaariavaus (.pptx)
Ajankohtaista uusiutuvan energian käytöstä (.ppt)
Kardonar bioenergy solutions (.ppt)
Uusiutuvaa energiaa käyttävät lämmitysjärjestelmät pientaloissa (.pptx)

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