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20.09.2005

From VTT: A method to ensure energy conservation
A bid for a 50 % energy saving in repairs to buildings in Europe

A method is being developed under the leadership of VTT to ensure energy conservation when buildings are repaired. The method is based on previously developed monitoring software, to which the aim is to connect Finnish real-time energy consumption telereading technology. The method will also facilitate the EU in defining a building’s energy-efficiency certification.

In the structural repair of old buildings in Europe the aim is to achieve savings of as much as 50% in energy consumption. At the same time the usefulness and residential amenity of the building should remain at least at its present level. In Europe building construction of the last twenty years accounts for some 20 % of the floorspace, while the energy consumption s a mere 5 % of the total energy consumption of building constructions. Thus from the perspective of the objectives of the Kioto Agreement the old building stock is in a key position.

On an international research project, VTT is developing a quality assurance system for the repair of old buildings which includes its monitoring systems developed earlier. The aim is to incorporate Finnish real-time telereading technology, which has already been extensively utilised in the Nordic countries. For most of Europe this is something entirely novel.

The project covers a total of nine public buildings for repair situated around Europe. They include a church, a community centre, sheltered accommodation, a day-care centre and a brewery to be converted into a hostel. Initially their energy consumption and conditions of use are determined. To ensure the success of energy conservation measures, the VTT method is applied as repairs progress, measuring the energy consumed for the heating, air conditioning, lighting and maintenance of the buildings.

The VTT method supports repair work to old European buildings that is innovative and energy-conserving. Those involved in the repairs to the respective buildings are provided with monitoring information from the other developments on the benefits of solutions for the conservation of energy. At the same time Finnish real-time energy consumption telereading technology makes its mark elsewhere on the European construction markets.

The north of Europe has the freest energy markets in Europe. The Sweden there is already legislation requiring that energy be paid for according to constantly monitored real consumption. In Norway there is a plan to reward those buildings able to conserve energy. In Finland there are enterprises and institutions where energy consumption is registered on an hourly basis, and in Valkeakoski, for example, a decision has already been taken to convert all 14,000 energy meters to telereading in the next few years.

The project, which is set to run until 2008, is funded by the EU. In addition to VTT it includes research interests from the UK, Italy, Greece, Lithuania, Norway, Germany, Denmark and the Czech Republic, and also the Finnish company Comsel Oy among others.

Further information: http://www.brita-in-pubs.com/participants.html

VTT Building and Transport
Timo Kauppinen, Research Scientist
Tel. +358 20 722 2013
timo.kauppinen@vtt.fi
Comsel Oy
Lars Hamberg, Sales Finland
Tel. +358 40 535 8030
lars.hamberg@comsel.com

Feel free to use all news. Photographs copyright Kalle Heiska.
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