Build Upon recommendations for Finland

20160331_BU WS1 YM_2016

Green Building Council Finland organised 6 workshops during year 2016 as part of the Build Upon project. In Finland, the workshop themes reflected the national barriers in energy efficiency and deep renovation of the existing building stock. The themes were: national big picture, energy efficiency in facilities, apartment buildings, market creation, challenges for municipalities and how to finance deep renovation.

Key Recommendations for Finland to advance energy efficiency through renovation

These recommendations offer insights on how to update the Finnish national renovation strategy based on the different workshops’ results and recommendations given by the participants. They were presented at the official stakeholder hearing for the update process of the national renovation strategy organised by the Ministry of the Environment and their partners on 10th February 2017.

  • Collaboration between renovation actors

There’s a strong need for deeper collaboration between renovation actors and we need to find ways to support this – open data, common platforms, active exchange of knowledge. Even active work in distinguishing project opportunities by looking at renovation needs in certain areas that could be potential projects.

  • Support for developing financial instruments that assist renovation

The building and construction sector and the government should support the R&D work of the financial sector to enable market driven development of financial instruments such as Green Mortgages, Green Loans and Green Bonds that push energy efficient renovation.

  • Dwellers and tenants need to realise their role and the worth of “active living”

This means stronger and more active involvement by the dwellers and tenants in planning and carrying out renovation efforts that seek to better the energy efficiency of their buildings and make sure that they use the buildings in a way that supports achieving the best outcomes in energy efficiency. Easy tools such as energy efficiency checklists and templates for including energy efficiency aspects for calls for tenders in renovation would help the market.

  • Market needs to change

The price of a building needs to reflect its true condition and therefore renovation efforts and energy efficiency enhancements should result in an increase in the value of the building. The valuation done by banks and lenders, but also the home buyers and organisational tenants need to reflect this ideology.

  • Revolution of renovation data

We need more renovation data and open access to outcomes and best practices to support renovation ambitions to seek more energy efficient measures when planning renovation actions. Renovation also has to seize the opportunities of digitalisation. This major trend offers ways to produce more cost-efficient and higher performing renovation services and processes, resulting in better outcomes for all renovation stakeholders.

  • Uniting the housing co-operatives

Deeper collaboration between homeowners, housing co-operatives and real estate managers that enables active conversion also with energy efficiency experts is very much needed to push renovation. This work could help us to look into new ways of renovating our buildings, by suggesting to look beyond the borders of our own yard and asking the neighbours to tell why their grass is always greener. It could also help to scale up renovation activities with bigger projects renovating a group of housing co-operatives or even whole areas.

  • Guides and easy-to-use tools for planning of renovation and building life-cycle

Our housing co-operatives need support and tools for the planning, especially the financial side, of their operation in the long term, in accounting the whole lifecycle of their buildings while making decisions and in planning and carrying out energy efficient renovation activities.

  • We need more carrots

We need to see if renovation incentives like property tax reduction for energy efficient build, lower securities for mortgages when purchasing high performance homes, monetary support for planning ambitious energy renovations or household reduction addressing renovation efforts could come into question in Finland.

  • Energy efficiency educated labour, know-how and education

Finland needs to find ways to support cross-border collaboration between the renovation industry and the education sector to make the best of available knowledge and pass on the best practices. Energy efficiency specific qualifications (for consultants, real estate managers, real estate facilities management, planners and designers etc.) could also be a way to move forward in including energy efficiency more deeply to renovation activities.

  • From pilots to every day best practice of renovation processes

Renovation processes have been under scrutiny in Finland and in order to move to the next phase we need to see a change that transforms our excellent but one-off pilot projects and tested best practices into everyday practice. This would link the customer needs to the value creation of renovation services, ensure the procedure of delivering quality solutions that do what has been promised, shorten project timelines and all in all result in a situation that makes all the stakeholders happy.

Extensive stakeholder process involved 120 organisations to Build Upon activities

GBC Finland’s Build Upon workshops gathered 120 organisations to work together on exchanging views on various themes relevant to the national renovation strategy and finding a common basis and outlook for the actions needed on this update round.

GBC Finland, with the help of the project’s Change Leaders, mapped out the key stakeholder groups for each workshop and invited them to share their views. The process has also been inclusive in a way that has invited any active relevant organisations to take part in the Change Leaders group (23 experts), in the workshops and in planning the Build Upon work.

All the six workshop reports are all available at

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