Aalto students enter competition with a wooden zero-energy building

Aalto University's team has built a zero-energy building with a Finnforest
Kerto® frame in Espoo, Finland. The building, called Luukku, will take part in
the Solar Decathlon competition for energy-efficient building in Madrid in the
spring of 2010. The competition is an international decathlon between
universities, with the contests including architecture, energy-efficiency and
innovativeness among others. Each team will build a prototype home that is
powered exclusively by the sun. 

Wood products are not only extremely energy-efficient but also ecological -
throughout their life cycle. Increasing wood construction is a sustainable way
of slowing down climate change. Compared to other construction materials, for
instance, the carbon footprint of wood products is overwhelmingly small. 

The floor area of the completely wooden building is 42 m2. Its frame consists
of 39-mm thick Kerto panels for the walls and 51-mm thick Kerto panels for the
floor and roof. "In selecting the materials for the panel frame, Kerto's
stiffness and straightness were the decisive factors," says the head of the
project, Pekka Heikkinen, professor of wood construction at the Helsinki
University of Technology's Department of Architecture. "It's easier to make a
building tight with a panel frame than with a conventional frame." 

The 75-square-metre roof of the building is completely covered with solar
panels. They produce the heating energy required in Finland as well as the
cooling energy needed in the Spanish summer. When the building is transferred
to Spain in the spring of 2010, the zero-energy building will become a
plus-energy building, meaning that it will begin to produce more energy than it
needs.  The Finnish Mäntyharju holiday home fair in 2011 will be the final
destination of the building. 

When the building is transferred to its final destination at the Finnish
Mäntyharju holiday home fair in 2011, it will be given a fireplace. The idea of
the Solar Decathlon competition is that no other sources of heat besides solar
energy are used. 

Before the spring, a measurement and research phase will be carried out in
Otaniemi, Espoo, in the yard of the Helsinki University of Technology's Wood
Studio. The technology connected with ventilation and heating, for instance,
will be studied over the winter, and a single carbon footprint will be
calculated for the house. 

The Finland team involved students from all universities within the Aalto
University. Architectural design was carried out by students of the
international Wood Program from the Helsinki University of Technology's
Department of Architecture. 

The building concept has been developed by several departments of the Helsinki
University of Technology, the Institute of Building Services Technology and
VTT. The main funder has been Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, and companies
whose innovative products will be exported together with the Luukku building as
a proof of the high level of Finnish know-how. 

Further information: 
Jouni Hakkarainen, R&D Manager, Metsäliitto Wood Products Industry, tel. +358
50 598 9611, e-mail jouni.hakkarainen@finnforest.com 


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