Real estates in Iso Roba monitor their emissions

Nine real estate companies and housing cooperatives in Iso Roobertinkatu monitor the buildings’ emissions with the help of the carbon footprint of usage (in Finnish) metering system. During the monitoring, the carbon footprint is calculated twice in the beginning of the Climate Street project in 2015 and in the end in 2017. By monitoring the emissions from the buildings, the goal was to examine the current carbon footprint of the real estates and encourage the reduction of emissions in Climate Street.

The carbon footprint of usage indicates the greenhouse gas emissions generated by heating, electricity consumption and water consumption in the property. Two office premises and seven residential buildings are monitored. The emissions are monitored from the real estate owner’s point of view, i.e. the residents’ apartment-specific electricity consumption was not included in the calculations. Only for one of the office premises was the electricity consumed by the office users taken into notice. The calculation of the carbon footprint was carried out by Bionova Oy and Benviroc Oy.

The following real estates in the street participated in the monitoring:
Housing cooperative As Oy Annankatu 6
Housing cooperative As Oy Fredrikinkatu 27
Housing cooperative As Oy Helsingin Fasaaninlinna
Housing cooperative As Oy Iso Roobertinkatu 8
Housing cooperative As Oy Albertinkatu
Housing cooperative As Oy Helsingin Roobertinlinna
Real estate company KOY Fredrikinpasaasi
Real estate company KOY Iso Roobertinkatu 20-22
Real estate company KOY Iso Roobertinkatu 21-25

The results of the first round of calculations showed that the majority of the carbon footprint in apartment blocks in Iso Roba is caused by the energy needed for the building’s heating via district heating. The electricity consumption levels in the real estates were relatively low. For example, old apartment blocks rarely have an elevator fitted in and almost all are equipped with natural ventilation. During a six-month period, the total carbon dioxide emissions from the residential buildings was 441 t CO2e. The yearly carbon footprint of the average Finn is 8.7 t CO2e.

In residential buildings, the carbon footprint emissions calculated per square metre ranged between 12 kg CO2e/brm2 and 27 kg CO2e/brm2. In comparison, the average emissions from a passenger car in a distance of a hundred kilometres are 14 kg CO2e, the carbon footprint of one kilogram of beef is 20 kg CO2e and a flight to Rovaniemi produces 125 kg CO2e of emissions. At the real estate level, the amount of emissions is significant. For example, a very typical old stone building in Iso Roobertinkatu 8 had a carbon footprint of 45 t CO2e in the last six months. This equals to 25 return flights from Helsinki to Hong Kong or 180 return flights from Helsinki to Rovaniemi.

On average, the carbon footprints for office buildings were higher than for residential buildings, both totalled at 21 kg CO2e/brm2 each. The electricity consumption levels in office buildings are often higher than in residential buildings. The carbon footprint of electricity consumption can be significantly reduced by buying green electricity. This has been done in the office building KOY Iso Roobertinkatu 20-22. During renovation it is easy to improve the energy efficiency of a building. Thanks to renovation works in the office building Iso Roobertinkatu 21-25, the consumption of heating energy is rather low and the carbon footprint from heating is 40% lower than in the other office building monitored.

The next carbon footprint calculations will be made for these nine real estates in spring 2017. Apartment blocks have received property-specific recommendations on how to reduce carbon footprint. There are different suggestions on how to save water and heat energy. Next spring we’ll find out which one of the properties is the biggest energy saver.