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Open AccessArticle

Carbon Efficient Building Solutions

1
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, P.O. Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT, Finland
2
Skanska M&E Finland Oy, P.O. Box 114, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2010, 2(3), 844-858; https://doi.org/10.3390/su2030844
Received: 1 February 2010 / Revised: 24 February 2010 / Accepted: 1 March 2010 / Published: 23 March 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability and the Built Environment)
Traditionally, the Finnish legislation have focused on energy use and especially on energy used for heating space in buildings. However, in many cases this does not lead to the optimal concept in respect to minimizing green house gases. This paper studies how CO2 emission levels are affected by different measures to reduce energy use in buildings. This paper presents two real apartment buildings with different options of energy efficiency and power sources. The calculations clearly show that in the future electricity and domestic hot water use will have high importance in respect to energy efficiency, and therefore also CO2 equivalent (eq) emissions. The importance increases when the energy efficiency of the building increases. There are big differences between average Finnish production and individual power plants; CO2 eq emissions might nearly double depending on the energy source and the power plant type. Both a building with an efficient district heating as a power source, and a building with ground heat in addition to nuclear power electricity as a complimentary electricity source performed very similarly to each other in respect to CO2 eq emissions. However, it is dangerous to conclude that it is not important which energy source is chosen. If hypothetically, the use of district heating would dramatically drop, the primary energy factor and CO2 eq emissions from electricity would rise, which in turn would lead to the increase of the ground heat systems emissions. A problem in the yearly calculations is that the fact that it is very important, sometimes even crucial, when energy is needed, is always excluded. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy efficiency; primary energy; building concepts energy efficiency; primary energy; building concepts
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Airaksinen, M.; Matilainen, P. Carbon Efficient Building Solutions. Sustainability 2010, 2, 844-858.

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