Hemsö’s journey towards carbon neutrality

23rd February 2022
Partnership stories Large properties

Hemsö, specialising in properties for public use, is a responsible property owner. Hemsö gave new proof of this by taking the opportunity to rethink a nursing home’s energy use in connection with the already planned property renovation. The result, a heating and cooling solution with smaller climate impact, became reality at the end of 2021 thanks to the good collaboration between Hemsö, the next-door grocery store, and Adven.

The property, located in the town of Kerava close to the Helsinki region in Finland, was easy to select for the energy efficiency project as there were other changes planned to be made in the building.

“The property was about to be turned into a construction site anyway and the spaces adapted to meet changing needs. It was a perfect moment to start thinking about upgrading the heating system and look for carbon neutral solutions,” says Janne Suhonen, Hemsö’s Building Services Specialist.

In 2021, Adven and Hemsö completed a successful project on the Pori campus of Satakunta University of Applied Sciences; there Adven’s geoenergy solution brought significant cost savings and reduced emissions. Satisfaction with the outcome of the previous project made it easier to start a new one together.

“We started with the Kerava project fairly quickly, as we wanted it to coincide with the other renovations. The heating system can be changed to use geoenergy even when a property is in normal use, but this is more pleasant for the tenants,” says Adven’s Sales Manager Anssi Juvonen.

In addition to the nursing home tenant, the building has a grocery store at street level. Waste heat from its refrigeration equipment that was previously lost is now used in the heating of the property, making up a third of the energy need.

High targets for sustainability

Hemsö has set itself demanding sustainability targets. As the company wants to decrease the emissions from its properties, heat pump and heat recovery systems are essential. After all, heating is the biggest source of emissions in properties.

“In 2021, we created a roadmap taking us toward lower emissions with a realistic timeline and solutions. We have had similar projects before, but now we are surveying suitable properties more systematically. We started several energy efficiency projects last year alone,” says Suhonen.

Hemsö is very happy with Adven’s operating model: Adven is responsible for the design, financing, and building of the energy solution that is based on geoenergy and then operates the solution for the duration of the agreement period. In other words, the property owner has no responsibility for the heating and cooling solutions anymore – they buy their energy as a service.

Adven’s model is a rational solution for the tenant and owner of the property. When the tenant covers the property’s maintenance and operating costs, it is not financially lucrative for the property owner to make an investment into the energy system. Buying energy as a service is beneficial for the tenant, as it reduces both emissions and costs.

Janne Suhonen
Hemsö’s Building Services Specialist

Emission reduction equal to dozens of cars

The modernisation of the energy solution went smoothly. Planning started last spring; the installations started in September and were completed in November.

“Implementation continued till the end of the year, so the solution could be finetuned and we could make sure everything works as planned. Adven has a professional crew that was easy to work with,” Suhonen emphasises.

The carbon dioxide emissions reduction achieved in Kerava is about 79 tonnes per year; this equals the emissions of approximately 40 mid-sized passenger cars.

“The change may not be dramatic, but when energy that previously was lost is now taken into use, it is a big win regardless,” says Juvonen.

Hemsö’s Janne Suhonen (to the left) and Adven’s Anssi Juvonen standing infront of the nursing home/grocery store property.