Julkaisun nimiThe importance of organization type: Construction sector perceptions of low-carbon policies and measures
KirjoittajatJouni Räihä, Selina Clarke, Paula Sankelo, Enni Ruokamo, Hanna-Liisa Kangas
JulkaisijaEnvironmental Science & Policy
ISBN/DOIDOI:10.1016/j.envsci.2023.103602
Julkaisupäivä17.10.2023

Abstract

To facilitate decarbonization in the EU’s building sector, the regulatory focus is shifting towards a life cycle perspective of emissions. The EU’s path in tackling embodied emissions is under development in the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, which is utilizing Level(s) framework and EN 15879 as a methodological foundation. Member States are at different stages in their building life cycle regulation plan and Finland is preparing normative regulations to limit the carbon footprints of new buildings. We conducted a survey on how the different actors in the construction sector perceive new low-carbon policies under development in Finland. Our findings indicate that carbon footprint policies were generally seen as functional. However, perceptions differed significantly depending on the respondent’s organization type. The respondents involved in the construction design stage generally seemed more positive about the proposed regulations, whereas advocates (associations and interest groups) were more cautious than the organizations they represented. These findings help clarify the implementation and development needs of low-carbon policies.

Julkaisun nimiInnovators, followers and laggards in home solar PV: Factors driving diffusion in Finland
KirjoittajatEnni Ruokamo, Marita Laukkanen, Santtu Karhinen, Maria Kopsakangas-Savolainen, Rauli Svento
JulkaisijaEnergy Research & Social Science
ISBN/DOIDOI:10.1016/j.erss.2023.103183
Julkaisupäivä22.6.2023

Abstract

Generating electricity from solar energy is a way for households to participate in the ongoing transition to decarbonized and more decentralized energy systems. A large empirical literature has examined the drivers and barriers associated with household solar PV adoption. An emerging strand of this literature investigates what distinguishes earlier adopters from later adopters and non-adopters. However, there is yet limited understanding of the differences between earlier and later adopters, as few papers have applied formal statistical models to compare different customer segments. The present study addresses this gap. We examine how the factors that influence household solar PV choices differ between earlier adopters, potential adopters – households that have considered installing solar PV but have not yet done so – and non-adopters. We analyze these choices using rich data from a household-level survey conducted in Finland. The findings show that the adoption of solar PV is linked to a multitude of socio-demographic and financial factors and personal motivations. There are clear differences in the motives and perceptions of adopters, potential adopters, and non-adopters. Accounting for such differences between customer segments will help to better design and target public policy instruments and marketing campaigns that aim to incentivize and nudge households toward solar PV investments.

Julkaisun nimiA tale of five cities: The role of municipalities in the market diffusion of wooden residential multistory construction and retrofits
KirjoittajatAnne Viljanen, Katja Lähtinen, Vesa Kanninen, Anne Toppinen
JulkaisijaForest Policy and Economics
ISBN/DOIDOI:10.1016/j.forpol.2023.102991
Julkaisupäivä26.5.2023

Abstract

To enhance sustainable urban development, cities may contribute to the market diffusion of wooden multistory residential construction (WMC) and to wood use in the renovations of old multistory residential buildings (i.e., wooden retrofits). For the construction sector, building with wood enables a shift from the dominant concrete-based building regime, which has hindered the industrialization of building processes and the use of prefabricated modules. Although industrial wood construction has become more common in Finland in the 2000s, WMC and especially wooden retrofits have remained niche systems in residential building markets. The aim of our study is to provide information on how municipalities, especially cities at the core of urban development, may contribute to the market diffusion of WMC and wooden retrofits through policy instruments and via their involvement in local business ecosystems (BE). The interview data of the study were mainly gathered from 40 professionals representing the five case cities, but we also included other experts connected to local BEs that linked with the WMC and wooden renovation cases. We employed qualitative methods in the analyses. Our study shows that WMC and wooden retrofits could be catalyzed by both policy instruments and collaboration in BEs. Results show that policy instruments have been more effective when they include characteristics of the building projects (e.g., instrument usability differs between municipalities or private persons as building owners). To be powerful actors, municipalities could take on more active collaborative roles within the local BEs (e.g., as initiators of projects as building owners or as active enablers). As an implication of these results, city-level experimentation could benefit from a full range of policy measures and mixes to accelerate the diffusion of WMC and wooden retrofits.

Tiivistelmä

Kaupungit voivat merkittävästi vaikuttaa puun käyttöön uudis-, korjaus- ja täydennysrakentamisessa. Esimerkiksi kerrostalojen lisäkerrosten rakentamisessa ja julkisivujen korjauksissa puiset ratkaisut ovat mahdollisuus resurssitehokuuden parantamiseen ja kiertotalouden vahvistamiseen. Tutkimusaineistomme perustuu viidessä suomalaisissa kaupungissa tehtyihin 40 haastatteluun. Tulostemme mukaan kaupungit voivat ottaa puurakentamisen mahdollistajina erilaisia rooleja suhteessa muihin toimijoihin sekä käyttäessään erilaisia poliittisia ohjauskeinoja ja niiden yhdistelmiä. Muut toimijat näkivät usein myös kaupunkien roolin puurakentamisen edistämisessä jopa merkittävämpänä kuin haastatellut kaupunkien edustajat, jotka taas itse korostivat kaupungin roolia eri toimijoiden välisen yhteistyön edistäjänä.

Julkaisun nimiLand-use Planning in Municipalities as a Driver for Sustainable Residential Building in Finland: A Regional Innovation System Approach
KirjoittajatAtte Koskivaara, Katja Lähtinen
JulkaisijaJournal of Sustainability Research. Special issue: Sustainability in the Built Environment
ISBN/DOIDOI:10.20900/jsr20230006
Julkaisupäivä26.4.2023

Abstract

Land-use planning has been identified as an important tool in pursuing sustainability by guiding the construction and development of our built environment. Sustainability action places large requirements for municipalities to develop and introduce priorities in their planning. Land-use planning system in Finland relate to regulation and decisions of authorities connected to national, regional, and municipal levels. In general, municipal level has the most power in decision making by holding e.g., planning monopolies. Municipal land-use planners operate in the junction of different actors including businesses, local politicians, citizens, and research institutions. Thus, they provide an interesting opportunity to study the operationalization and objectives of land-use planning in different regions. This study takes the regional innovation system approach to illustrate planning systems, involvement of different stakeholders and the sustainability objectives of land-use planning in varying regions in Finland. Quantitative methods (i.e., exploratory factor analysis, statistical tests) are used in the online survey data analysis. Our results suggest a strong connection between informal planning system and municipalities’ sustainability objectives as well as stakeholders representing research and governance organizations whereas statutory planning system is more connected with users of existing knowledge. Regarding regional characteristics, urban municipality planners were found to perceive informal planning as more important than planners in other municipalities. Additionally, connected to the results on sustainability objectives, urban municipality planners paid attention especially on goals for sustainable building, while those working in other municipalities emphasized both goals on sustainable building and securing ecosystem services.

Tiivistelmä

Maankäytön suunnittelulla on tärkeä rooli kestävän rakentamisen ja asumisen mahdollistamisessa. Onnistuneet kaavoitusratkaisut edistävät hyvinvointia, aluetaloutta ja kestävää kehitystä rakennetussa ympäristössä. Tutkimuksessamme selvitimme lakisääteisten ja epämuodollisten maankäytön suunnitteluprosessien sekä eri sidosryhmien rooleja suomalaisten kuntien maankäytön suunnittelussa ja näiden suhteita kuntien ekologisen kestävyyden tavoitteiden kanssa. Tutkimme myös näiden osa-alueiden eroja kaupunkimaisten ja muiden kuntien välillä. Tuloksemme osoittavat merkittäviä yhteyksiä epämuodollisten maankäytön suunnitteluprosessien, uuden tiedon tuottamisen, sekä kuntien kestävyystavoitteiden välillä. Lakisääteisten maankäytön suunnittelumekanismien kohdalla ei tuloksistamme samankaltaisia yhteyksiä noussut esille. Lisäksi havaitsimme, että kaupunkimaisten ja maaseutumaisempien kuntien välillä on eroja näissä maankäytön suunnittelun kannalta tärkeissä osa-alueissa.

Julkaisun nimiAccepting Depoliticisation? Council Members’ Attitudes Towards Public-Public Contracts in Spatial Planning
KirjoittajatPiia Bäcklund, Vesa Kanninen, Tomas Hanell
JulkaisijaPlanning Theory & Practice
ISBN/DOIDOI:10.1080/14649357.2023.2199459
Julkaisupäivä19.4.2023

Abstract

This paper focuses on how local council members consider public-public contractual spatial planning practices. Our approach addresses concerns over the depoliticisation of planning processes within a neoliberal governmentality. Our findings from three Nordic countries show that some of the council members accept being sidelined from contractual processes. Local council members may thus become complicit political subjects who foster depoliticisation through their own actions. We argue that council members’ interpretations concerning contractual practices give direction, not only to future planning practice, but also to societal understanding of the idea of the political in spatial planning.

Julkaisun nimiExploring the potential of circular economy to mitigate pressures on biodiversity
KirjoittajatEnni Ruokamo, Hannu Savolainen, Jyri Seppälä, Susanne Sironen, Milja Räisänen, Ari-Pekka Auvinen
JulkaisijaGlobal Environmental Change
ISBN/DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2022.102625
Julkaisupäivä6.12.2022

Abstract

The effects of circular economy on biodiversity are poorly understood. This study provides observations on approaches for assessing circular economy and illustrates, with a Finnish case study, the potential of circular economy to mitigate pressures on biodiversity. The case study focuses on the construction and real estate sectors, as well as the forest industry. The findings imply that circular economy actions that reduce the extraction of virgin raw materials and relieve land use pressures are effective. Improving material efficiency, increasing the cascading use of wood, and optimizing the use and reuse of materials and products, as well as extending the lifetime of buildings and optimizing space use, have good potential for mitigating pressures on biodiversity in Finland. However, as forest utilization has a major impact on Finnish biodiversity, certain actions that possibly increase the use of forest resources (e.g., replacing fossil-based, concrete, or steel materials with wood-based solutions) may impair biodiversity if biodiversity-enhancing forest management practices are not utilized. Assessing the biodiversity impacts of circular economy is challenging, and the need for further research and the development of indicators and assessment methods is clear.

Julkaisun nimiCircular economy policies and their transformative outcomes: The transformative intent of Finland’s strategic policy programme
KirjoittajatDavid Lazarevic, Hanna Salo, Petrus Kautto
JulkaisijaJournal of Cleaner Production
ISBN/DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.134892
Julkaisupäivä27.10.2022

Abstract

This paper analyses how Finland’s circular economy policy attends not only to the promotion and acceleration of innovation, but also the reconfiguration of resource intensive systems. Socio-technical transitions research has historically focused on niche innovation processes. Yet recently, increasing attention has been placed on policy processes that seek to destabilise and disrupt incumbent systems and practices. Furthermore, the social justice aspects of system phase out policies have been brought to the fore. Our qualitative analysis of Finland’s circular economy policy programme draws upon the transformative innovation policy and sustainability transitions policy-mix literatures, extending the transformative outcome framework to include outcomes related to the repercussions of regime destabilisation, coordination and tilting the socio-technical landscape. Our analysis shows that Finland’s circular economy policy programme aims predominantly at niche stimulation and acceleration, with little emphasis on the regime destabilisation or coordination. Overall, the policy proposals aim toward a strategy of progressive system change, an orientation shaped by the country’s corporatist approach to policy making and pre-existing plans.

Julkaisun nimi“It all depends on the project”—A business ecosystem in residential wooden multistory construction in Finland
KirjoittajatAnne Toppinen, Anniina Aaltio, Katja Lähtinen, Jaakko Jussila, Ritva Toivonen
JulkaisijaFrontiers in Built Environment
ISBN/DOIhttps://doi.org/10.3389/fbuil.2022.1046954
Julkaisupäivä24.11.2022

Abstract

Using wood in multistory apartment construction (WMC) has a climate-positive advantage with buildings acting as long-term carbon storage. Business ecosystem (BE) development around WMC is needed to accelerate the adoption of wooden materials in the conservative construction industry. As the business actors around WMC are essentially different from those using other building materials, new knowledge must be built from the project level. This study uses a qualitative interview approach among actors from three pioneering urban building projects to address their perceptions of building with wood regarding a project-based BE. Based on the thematic analysis, sources of both tangible and intangible value creation were found to arise from building with wood. A higher degree of prefabrication associated with WMC was seen in all projects to influence the reorganization of logistics, enabling faster building processes and lean material use. No strong sustainability-driven culture could be identified in any of the projects. Results further flag the sensitivity and importance of management and coordination skills in targeting improvements of the construction business based on WMC. In the bigger picture, there is still room for further research at regional and global level on business model changes in building with this renewable and recyclable material.

Julkaisun nimiRenovation Results of Finnish Single-Family Renovation Subsidies: Oil Boiler Replacement with Heat Pumps
KirjoittajatPaula Sankelo, Kaiser Ahmed, Alo Mikola, Jarek Kurnitski
JulkaisijaEnergies
ISBN/DOIhttps://doi.org/10.3390/en15207620
Julkaisupäivä15.10.2022

Abstract

Finland has approximately 150,000 oil-heated private homes. In 2020, the Finnish government launched subsidies for private homeowner energy renovations. In this study, we examine the impact of two new energy renovation subsidies, the ELY grant and the ARA grant, from an energy efficiency point of view. Data from these subsidies reveal that a typical energy renovation case is a building from the 1970s where the oil boiler is replaced with an air-to-water heat pump. With additional data from the Finnish Energy certificate registry, a reference 1970s house is constructed and modelled in the building simulation programme, IDA ICE 4.8. Combinations of several renovation measures are simulated: air-to-water heat pump, ground-source heat pump, ventilation heat recovery and improved insulation. We found that resorting mainly to air-to-water heat pumps is not the most energy-effective solution. Ground-source heat pumps deliver a more significant reduction in delivered energy, especially with additional measures on insulation and heat recovery. Ground-source heat pumps also demand slightly less power than air-to-water heat pumps. Onsite solar PV generation helps supplement part of the power needed for heat pump solutions. Subsidy policies should emphasize deep renovation, ventilation heat recovery and onsite electricity generation.

Julkaisun nimiImpact of prospective residents’ dwelling requirements on preferences for house construction materials
KirjoittajatAnders Roos, Hans-Fredrik Hoen, Francisco X. Aguilar, Antti Haapala, Elias Hurmekoski, Jaakko Jussila, Katja Lähtinen, Cecilia Mark-Herbert, Tomas Nord, Ritva Toivonen, Anne Toppinen
JulkaisijaWood Material Science & Engineering
ISBN/DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1080/17480272.2022.2126947
Julkaisupäivä6.10.2022

Abstract

This study investigated people’s requirements for multi-story housing attributes and preferences for apartments in wooden-structure versus steel/concrete-structure multi-story buildings. Data came from an online survey conducted in Finland and Sweden that screened for respondents who expressed a preference for living in an apartment, as compared with a low-rise dwelling. Responses were analyzed using exploratory factor and regression analyses. Swedish respondents assigned significantly higher requirements to factors related to environmental and social sustainability performance than Finnish respondents. Requirements in both countries were described across three factors: environmental and social sustainability, quality, and design. Factor scores differed between socioeconomic sub-groups, particularly regarding quality, between urban and non-urban respondents. Preferences to live in an apartment in a wooden building were positively associated with respondents’ requirements for environmental and social sustainability, and negatively with requirements for quality-related attributes. Opposite relationships were found in the Swedish sample for apartments in non-wooden structure houses. Design requirements had no significant association with preferences for a specific material in load-bearing structures for multi-story buildings, in either country. The findings can contribute toward enhanced marketing efforts and customized value propositions to increase the social acceptability of multi-story wooden buildings and advance climate-related goals within the housing sector.