The Ministry of the Environment moves to energy efficient premises at the beginning of May

Press release 2015-04-28 at 14:00

The Ministry of the Environment will move to the address Aleksanterinkatu 7 in early May. The premises have been renovated for energy efficiency. The new facility is a way for the Ministry to fulfil its commitment on reducing ecological footprint. The commitment is the Ministry of the Environment’s response to the campaign of the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development concerning social commitments for sustainable development.

The building located at the corner of Aleksanterinkatu and Fabianinkatu was designed by Ole Gripenberg and completed in 1932. The building was constructed to serve as a commercial space, which is why the conference and seminar room at street level has been named Pankkisali (bank hall), in reference to its history. The building is owned by the University of Helsinki.

Aiming to halve energy consumption

The renovation of the building was initiated in 2012, with a particular focus on energy efficiency: by means of structural and technical solutions the aim is to reduce energy consumption by half. In the new energy efficiency classification, the building falls in class C, which is an excellent rating for an old protected building that has gone through renovation. Currently, the property even meets the requirements for new buildings.

The interior spaces of the building were completely transformed. The Ministry staff will work in multi-purpose rooms that were designed with particular attention on acoustics and air quality. There is less than 20 m2 working space per person, which is significantly less than before.

The Ministry wanted to also foster the heritage of the old building. Some of the original interiors, such as the main staircase leading to Aleksanterinkatu and the lead glass windows from the 1930s were restored honouring the architectural legacy.

Brake energy and solar panels

The roof of the building houses a solar power station that covers over 100 m2 and produces some of the energy used by the Ministry.

In order to save energy, the lighting, cooling and air conditioning of interior spaces are controlled using presence, condition and daylight sensors. LED technology has been used for the lighting. The lifts of the seven-storey building recover brake energy, and the components, such as ventilation fans, used in the building automation systems are extremely energy-efficient.

An “active green wall” has been placed in the downstairs lobby and staff café on the top floor. The plants purify indoor air very efficiently thanks to their ability to adapt their functions to the ambient conditions. The method is based on years of development, including research conducted by NASA.

The building is heated by means of district heating, and in summer, district cooling keeps the temperature at a comfortable level. The windows have been replaced to achieve high energy efficiency.

Consumption monitored in real time

The Ministry of the Environment will closely monitor its own consumption in real time. The following consumption data is monitored:

  • power consumption by floor
  • power consumption of lighting by floor
  • power consumption of sockets by floor
  • power consumption of district heating and cooling
  • indoor air temperature
  • carbon dioxide content of indoor spaces
  • energy produced by solar panels

 

In addition to this, paper and water consumption is monitored, as well as waste amounts.  In the near future, the public can also keep an eye on the energy consumption of the building via the info display in the street level window.

 

Postal address is maintained

The move applies to the entire staff. The Ministry’s P.O. box address and telephone numbers will remain as before. As of 4 May 2015, the new street address will be Aleksanterinkatu 7, Helsinki.

More information:

Development Manager, Kimmo Takamaa, Government Administrative Unit, firstname.lastname@vnk.fi tel. +358 (0)50 5726329

Technical solutions: Project Manager Jussi Tuomola, University of Helsinki Facilities Department, firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi, tel. +358 (0)50 4160464

Senior Architect Harri Hakaste, Ministry of the Environment, +358 (0)50 413 7673, firstname.lastname@ymparisto.fi
(As of 4 May)

The Ministry’s P.O. box address
Ministry of the Environment
PL 35
00023 Government
Finland

Telephone exchange: +358 (0)2952 50000
Fax: +358 (0)9 1603 9320