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Finland's first passive house

Finland's first VTT specified passive house is ready to be moved into. The experiences gained building the Paroc Passive House in Tikkurila, Vantaa, show that the passive house does not only save energy but is also an inexpensive alternative in terms of building costs. The building costs of the Paroc Passive House were closely monitored from the beginning. The total costs calculated remained below budget being only approximately three percent higher than those of a standard house.

Additional costs were marginal: doors, windows, and larger than normal insulation amounts affected the total cost somewhat, however, the absence of a heating system reduced the cost significantly. Designing expenses were slightly higher than normal because it was the first passive house ever built in Finland. Now the planning model has been made and can be utilised in future passive house building, states Development Manager Pekka Haikonen from Paroc Oy Ab.

The building process also showed that a passive house can be built without special products. Thicker walls did not take away the building right but enabled proper windowsills, which the women seem to appreciate, reveals the future resident Jorma Vuoritsalo. According to Vuoritsalo, the amount of work required in building the passive house compared to a standard house was not significantly more.

The biggest difference was in the tightening of the joints, which had to be done especially carefully so that the air-tightness and energy efficiency of the house would meet the passive house criteria. In fact, VTT's measurements showed that air-tightness was top class 0,34. Target value was 0,6 (in the energy certificate calculations the air leakage rate used should be 4, unless otherwise specified).

VTT, responsible for defining the passive house-concept in Finland, has been involved with the planning and execution of the Paroc Passive House from the beginning. VTT is also in charge of the follow-up and will be measuring the house's energy consumption for two years.

Consumption figures in the Paroc Passive House will be collected concerning heating, warm service water heating, and lighting among other things. Room temperatures and humidity will also be under continuous surveillance. The actual energy consumption of the house can be verified with these measurement results. According to Paroc estimate, the annual heating energy consumption in the Paroc Passive House will be around 7000 kWh, when the corresponding figure in a so called standard house would be between 35000-37000 kWh/y, senior researcher of VTT Ilpo Kouhia declares. As planned, the quality of indoor air is expected to be good and draught-free and the temperature even, Kouhia continues.

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