Published September 1, 2009

Winner for Sitra’s Low2No Sustainable Development Design Competition selected

The Low2No Competition for an energy- and innovation block in Jätkäsaari, Helsinki, is shifting from ideas to implementation. The five international teams, selected out of 74 applicants to take part in the competition last May, have delivered their competition proposals during the summer. The competition results were published on Tuesday, September 1st in Helsinki, Finland.

Jätkäsaari to become a carbon neutral district

The Low2No Competition for an energy- and innovation block in Jätkäsaari, Helsinki, is shifting from ideas to implementation. The five international teams, selected out of 74 applicants to take part in the competition last May, have delivered their competition proposals during the summer. The competition results were published on Tuesday, September 1st in Helsinki, Finland.

The jury selected the proposal of team ARUP – Sauerbruch Hutton – Experientia – Galley Eco Capital called c_life – City as living factory of ecology the winner. In their proposal, the multinational team leveraged a particularly promising consumer/behavioural framework to empower citizens in meeting the goal of sustainability. In addition, the team presented an innovative funding model for developing Jätkäsaari into the first carbon neutral district in Finland.

The international jury found the competition proposals to be of a very high level of competence and rigor. While each team had a slightly different perspective on sustainability and implementation, each proposal provided a comprehensive approach to the Low2No challenge. The proposals suggest e.g. use of extensive indicators for sustainability, and the utilisation of solar power and heat, as well as wind energy. The recovery of waste energy from ferries and ships was a compelling proposition. Most proposals would also connect the competition block into the district heating grid.

The five proposals brought up a range of strategies the jury found particularly insightful: Material efficiency, in particular the use of wooden structures, as a carbon sink strategy; citizen-centric solutions ranging from real-time carbon footprint information to onsite food production; water focused solutions ranging from onsite storm-water management to minimized water consumption; city densification to reduce carbon footprint and stricter city-limits to reduce sprawl. All proposals identified opportunities not only for the Low2No block, but for the City and Finland as well. The jury recommended Sitra and its partners to continue cooperation with all five teams in order to facilitate this systemic change.

The competition is aimed at raising the interest of city decision-makers, developers, planners and constructors to carefully examine the inevitable changes they will be facing. The City of Helsinki has shown pioneering spirit and an open-minded attitude by joining Sitra in this novel competition.
“Sitra’s competition has given valuable material for future practices within the City of Helsinki, which will be encouraging new site owners to similar low energy building”, stated Deputy Mayor Hannu Penttilä in the event.

“Selecting the winner was extremely challenging, since all proposals brought up important viewpoints for sustainable development. However, the jury was unanimous in its selection of the winner. A well developed holistic proposal, the strategy highlighted two important insights: the creation of a carbon neutral district dovetailed with consumer oriented planning, thus supporting Sitra’s objective of empowering citizens”, says Marco Steinberg, Director of Strategic Design at Sitra and chairman of the competition jury.

“Jätkäsaari Energy- and Innovation City Block is a key project for Sitra, contributing to the systemic change towards sustainable building. The competition also validates my impression of the importance of city planning in improving sustainability and energy efficient”, says Jukka Noponen, Executive Director of Sitra’s Energy Programme.
“We are very pleased at the competition results and will immediately continue the negotiations for realising these plans.

Further information

Marco Steinberg, Director of Strategic Design
Tel. +358 40 482 7508, firstname.lastname@sitra.fi

Jukka Noponen, Executive Director, Energy Programme
Tel. +358 40 587 4323, firstname.lastname@sitra.fi

www.sitra.fi/en/energy
www.low2no.org/competition  

Low2No Competition Teams

  • ARUP/Sauerbruch Hutton/Experientia (London/Berlin/Turin, UK/Germany/Italy) – Galley Eco Capital 
  • Bjarke Ingels Group, BIG (Copenhagen, Denmark) – Vahanen – ARUP Foresight Innovation – Transsolar Energietechnik – Anttinen Oiva Arkkitehdit AoA – Masu Planning – Passiivitalo.fi – Pasi Mäenpää – Mikko Jalas 
  • Peter Rose & Partners (Boston, USA) – Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates – Guy Nordenson and Associates – Matthias Schuler, Transsolar Climate Engineering – Mobility in Chain – ARO Architectural Research Office – Peter MacKieth 
  • REX/Croxton Collaborative/NOW (New York, USA) – Transsolar Energietechnik – Magnusson Klemencic Associates – Bureau Bas Smets – 2×4 – Arup New York – Front – Jonathan Rose Companies
  • WSP Group (London, UK) – Heatherwick Studios – B&M Architects – JK MM Architects – Space Syntax – Helsinki University – AA Palmberg Ltd – Pekka Himanen

JURY members

  • Prof Michelle Addington, Associate Professor, Yale University
  • Mr Harry Edelman, CEO, Edelman Group
  • Prof Harrison S. Fraker, Professor, Berkeley University
  • Mr Matti Kaijansinkko, Jätkäsaari Project Leader, City Planning Department, City of Helsinki
  • Mr Timo Kokkila, Property Development Manager, SRV Yhtiöt Oyj
  • Mr Juha Kostiainen, Business Director, Sitra/Energy Programme
  • Prof Ralf Lindberg, Professor, Tampere University of Technology
  • Mr Kimmo Lylykangas, Research Manager/Architect, Helsinki University of Technology
  • Mr Marco Steinberg, Director of Strategic Design, Sitra, Chairman of the Jury
  • Ms Helena Säteri, Director General, Ministry of the Environment of Finland
  • Prof Christian Werthmann, Associate Professor, Harvard University

Low2No competition website »

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Sitra’s Energy Programme contributes to improving the energy-efficiency of the built environment and the energy awareness of Finns, in addition to creating new business opportunities from the transition that the energy sector is undergoing. The programme will seek innovative operating models and technologies to attain improved energy efficiency and invests in companies within the sector to accelerate their growth and internationalisation.

The international Low2No competition seeks comprehensive solutions to low/no carbon building solutions. The competition aims at showing that the national and international targets for lowering CO2 emissions and improving energy efficiency can be reached and even outperformed, while producing an economically sustainable and high architectural environment. The competition hopes that it can also help contribute to the cooperation between Finnish and international experts in different fields. The competition also encourages cities and communities to set more ambitious targets in developing new areas and to adopt new business models in planning. More information can be found on the competition website: www.low2no.org »