Nordic network promotes energy efficiency solutions

A team drawn from the worlds of academia, research and industry came together to work on the Increasing Energy Efficiency in Buildings (IEEB) project. Key goal was to help construction companies in Finland, Sweden and Norway to develop cross-border business.

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IEEB tested its work with houses based in the Oulu Energy Efficiency Quarter © IEEB IEEB tested its work with houses based in the Oulu Energy Efficiency Quarter © IEEB

" The Nordic co-operation worked extremely well during the IEEB project and later on, not only with the project partners, but also with public authorities involved, the building sector and other stakeholders – a real triple helix mode of collaboration at its best. We exceeded our targets in the project in most cases. "

Antti Haapalahti, project manager

IEEB developed a pilot called the Oulu Energy Efficiency Quarter, where companies associated with the project built six test houses. IEEB provided the companies with measurements and analysis which enabled them to increase the energy efficiency of both their building processes and the completed dwellings. Luleå University of Technology contributed by developing a test environment method which enabled experts to examine the energy efficiency of products such as doors, windows and building materials.

The project also developed a database for the measurement of air tightness and energy efficiency in buildings, which presents information in a clear, concise and reliable fashion. The data is being used by construction companies and municipal officials to assess energy consumption more accurately, which in turn is helping to improve building design quality and efficiency.

Generating business

IEEB’s drive to calibrate standards and practices across the three Nordic nations has helped to generate cross-border business for the prefabricated house-building industry. The project encouraged six Finnish SMEs to present their products and services to three towns in northern Sweden (Luleå, Kiruna and Gällivare) during a roadshow held in 2015. In addition, an office has been established in Tromsö, Norway to facilitate the export operations of Finnish house-building companies.

IEEB’s findings have also been fed into study programmes run by the project’s three education partners – Oulu University of Applied Sciences in Finland and Sweden’s University of Umeå and Luleå University of Technology. In the long-term, these programmes will help to improve the know-how of engineering graduates.

Another project partner, the Building Supervision Office of Oulu, has succeeded in encouraging building firms to strive for improved performance. Analysis reveals that, between 2010 and 2014, these companies were delivering energy efficiency levels which were 17.5 % better than is required by Finnish building regulations.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project IEEB project is EUR 1 448 883, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 619 556 from the Operational Programme "North" for the 2007 to 2013 programming period. Work falls under the priority axis "Development of the Economy".

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