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R&D funding for four entries in the energy efficient renovation competition

Renovation service providers submitted innovative ideas for solutions to improve energy efficiency and living comfort in the Make an improvement! communications programme for energy efficient renovation. The programme was launched by Tekes and other organizers to encourage companies to create new partnering models.

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Renovation service providers submitted innovative ideas for solutions to improve energy efficiency and living comfort in the Make an improvement! communications programme for energy efficient renovation. The programme was launched by Tekes and other organizers to encourage companies to create new partnering models.

The purpose of the Make an improvement! communications programme, aimed at renovation service providers, was to create new, customer-responsive business models, particularly for renovations and rebuilding projects. The competition announced in April attracted 105 companies and organizations that formed innovation teams independently. In total, 39 competition entries were submitted. Each of the award-winning entries will receive EUR 50,000 to 100,000 to develop and implement their proposals.

“Over the next few years, there will be a real boom in renovation and rebuilding. Through this competition, we wanted to encourage companies to develop services that respond to customer needs,” says the Chairman of the judging panel, Kari Hiltunen, of Tekes’ Built Environment Programme.

Solar energy from lift shafts

If the entry submitted by Kone, Lahden Ovitekniikka and Riihimäen Metallikaluste is implemented as planned, the walls of lift shafts retro-fitted to the outer skin of buildings can be clad with solar collectors within a year.

“Normally, the shaft walls are made of concrete or glass without any use being made of the surface. Why not clad the shaft wall with solar panels to harness solar energy to heat the household water consumed in the building? The required technical solutions already exist, all that needs to be done is to combine them and measure the energy output and consumption of the entire system. This is the world’s first lift concept that generates more energy than it consumes,” explains Kone’s Ari Hänninen, father of the idea.

Other award-winning entries were the proposal for a living and service module for use during pipe and drain replacement projects; a proposal named ‘Kiinteistöluotsi’ by Vahanen Companies, Lonix, Matti Sivunen and Juho Kusti Kajander; and the proposal of Emator, Silotek and Cupor concerning a prefabricated technical building services module.

“Old people, in particular, suffer from pipe replacement jobs. Although the idea of a mobile residential module brought to the site has been used previously, providing customized supplementary services as part of the temporary living arrangements is something new. The services will improve the living conditions of individual residents and the entire housing community as well as making daily life smoother,” says Marja Kallio, Managing Director of RealCase Oy.

According to the award-wining ‘Kiinteistöluotsi’ entry, energy efficiency, the quality of indoor air, etc., would be monitored by an intelligent sensor system. According to the team leader Matti Sivunen, the proposal represents the next, more advanced step in building services automation.

“The sensor system makes use of the existing building services systems and monitors their condition and operation. Monitoring makes it possible to evaluate the probability of success in repairs and also add an insurance product to the solution: if the system determines that repairs to the building systems are required ahead of the schedule, the insurance company would foot the bill,” says Sivunen.

The proposal submitted by Emator, Silotek and Cupor foresees a prefabricated building services module that would improve productivity and quality in pipe and drain replacement projects. The customized modules would make use of an open copper piping system suitable for serial production.

“The flexible modules would make it possible to relocate the building services conduits; for example, in a row house, piping and cables could be laid horizontally behind the curtain board. The main thing is that customers would be offered turnkey services from design to completion in connection with pipe and drain replacements. The use of a prefabricated module saves both time and money,” explains Juha Silovaara, Managing Director of Emator.

One company’s expertise not enough

“The award-winning proposals succeeded in combining expertise from several fields and creating promising concepts that benefit customers and offer substantial business potential. As always, picking the winners was difficult. All the entries were of a high standard,” concludes Hiltunen.

The competition was part of the Make an improvement! communication programme for energy efficient renovation. The partners were Tekes; the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra; the Ministry of the Environment; the Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries RT; the Finnish Real Estate Federation; Finnish Association of Mechanical Building Services Industries, Rakennuslehti Magazine; and the Centre of Finnish Housing Communications.

Additional information on the competition

Kari Hiltunen, Director of the Built Environment Programme, Tekes, kari.hiltunen@tekes.fi, +358 10 60 55836

www.teeparannus.fi

www.tekes.fi/rakennettuymparisto  

Additional information on the entries

Ari Hänninen, Project Manager, Kone Corporation, ari.hanninen@kone.com, +358 20 475 3007
Marja Kallio, Managing Director, RealCase Oy, marja.kallio@realcase.fi, +358 40 570 1217
Juha Silovaara, Managing Director, Emator Oy, juha.silovaara@emator.fi, +358 400 801 272
Matti Sivunen, matti.sivunen@tkk.fi, +358 40 751 5710

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