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Development of sustainable solutions expands from real estate to city blocks

Development of sustainable solutions expands from real estate to city blocks

6.2.2024 – At the moment, all development activities are focused around mitigating climate change. We must find new ways of reducing emissions.

Data and digitalisation, Innovations, Sustainability

We are involved in three new Business Finland development projects that aim to find solutions to these issues in the next two to three years. The projects develop sustainable solutions to designing entire urban areas.

Already, it is evident that the projects will introduce new perspectives to familiar themes, resulting in the development of the services offered by Granlund as well as the whole real estate and construction sector. The goal is to reduce emissions in entities larger than individual properties.

Energy efficiency solutions for entire city blocks

Two of the new development projects, Energy-Carbon KOM and NSDC, focus on improving energy efficiency and finding low-carbon solutions. Although these themes are quite familiar, the perspective has shifted from single systems and buildings to entire city blocks and districts.

A wider perspective enables the designers to think about ways for buildings to share resources, such as facilities and energy. For example, the condensate heat of commercial properties and other free forms of energy can be used to heat the housing in the area. This type of ‘superblock’ could also have a shared geothermal heating system that would support the demand response of energy according to spikes in consumption.

The opportunities for optimisation extend to everyday services, such as shared facilities. One building could house a wood-burning sauna available to the residents of multiple housing companies, another building could have an electric sauna and a third might have a swimming pool. A sharing economy where everyone does not need to own everything saves resources.

Tapping further into small data

One of the special characteristics of the Energy-Carbon development project is that it does not focus on managing big data; instead, it aims to reap the greatest possible benefits from small data. The purpose of the project is to create a concept that makes it easier to determine the energy needs at the start of regional development projects while the initial information is still incomplete and the designers do not know what types of buildings or operations will be built in the area.

Our role in the energy planning and carbon calculations of the project is to offer energy simulation and AI expertise as well as benchmark data collected from previous projects. This makes it possible to optimise the energy consumption of a new area on the basis of a small amount of data.

Improving everyday life through digital means

Our third Business Finland project, called People Flow, focuses on optimising the flow of people in buildings and urban environments. We are working together with our partners to develop digital solutions that will make the everyday lives and sustainable transport of people easier in cities.

The goal of the new development projects is to simultaneously enhance the use of facilities and to collect data on how people move in or use the facilities. In addition to energy savings and emission reductions, this type of data helps make the facilities even more attractive to users.

The insight, expertise and technological development jointly achieved in the real estate and construction sector enables us to expand our horizons. Once the smaller entities are under control, we can extend our perspective to the optimisation of larger systems.

Developing sustainable solutions in new Business Finland projects

  • People Flow (Untangling People Flow for Smart and Sustainable Urban Environments)
  • NSDC (Nordic Superblocks as Decarbonization Catalysts)
  • Energy-Carbon KOM (Development of energy-carbon coordinated key operation management technology of district energy system based on mechanism-data fused modeling)

Get in touch!

Heikki Ihasalo

Heikki Ihasalo

Director, Innovation and Development
Granlund Group

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