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.

Julkaisun nimiConsumers’ Consciousness for Sustainable Consumption and Their Perceptions of Wooden Building Product Quality
KirjoittajatCharlotta Harju, Katja Lähtinen
JulkaisijaForest Products Journal
ISBN/DOIhttps://doi.org/10.13073/FPJ-D-22-00014
Julkaisupäivä11.7.2022

Abstract

Wood products are seen globally as an important solution to substitute nonrenewable materials in the construction sector to enhance the life cycle sustainability of buildings. Globally, the most prominent opportunities for sustainability change in housing production lie in multistory residential buildings, which are built mainly of concrete, steel, and bricks. The possibilities of achieving multiple benefits from the use of wood in multistory residential buildings have gained interest among scholars, especially in the 2000s. However, the research has been dominated by views of production (especially construction processes), while scientific knowledge of consumption (especially the occupational phase of buildings) remains very limited. Information about how consumers with differing views of sustainable consumption evaluate the quality of wooden building materials particularly is scarce. This study aimed to investigate consumer perceptions of wooden building product quality and examine how the perceptions connect with consumers’ consciousness for sustainable consumption (CSC). The research data were gathered in 2018 by a postal survey sent to 1,000 people living in Finland (response rate 25.6%) and analyzed with exploratory factor analysis and the Mann-Whitney U test. According to the results, respondents’ views of wooden building product quality indicators can be grouped into three factors: technical advantages, environmental sustainability of materials, and social benefits at home. The strength of CSC was found to be linked with respondents’ views of wooden building product quality. The results of consumers’ CSC views help actors involved in the wood and construction industries better meet consumer expectations both for different aspects of sustainability and for lifestyles.

Julkaisun nimiCo-developing sustainability – a consumer-inclusive approach to wooden housing business in Finland
KirjoittajatEliisa Kylkilahti, Minna Autio, Viktor Harvio, Ulrika Holmberg, Anne Toppinen
JulkaisijaHousing Studies
ISBN/DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1080/02673037.2022.2114592
Julkaisupäivä9.9.2022

Abstract

The housing construction industry can address sustainability issues by developing its business practices. This requires a shift from a firm-driven business logic to a consumer-inclusive approach where consumers and businesses together enhance sustainable development. By analyzing data from focus group discussions with both industry experts in the wooden multi-storey construction business and consumers residing in novel wooden buildings, this study examines how businesses can engage consumers in the development of sustainable housing. The results are presented as an iterative dialogue process that acknowledges consumers as important actors to whom innovative housing solutions should be appropriately introduced and whose lived experiences need to be understood. The findings indicate that consumer experiences can feed the creation and uptake of innovations that enhance sustainability in the construction sector. The study fosters the material aspect of sustainable housing and, by highlighting consumer participation and communication, proposes tools for its consumer-inclusive co-development.

Julkaisun nimiDynamic heating control measured and simulated effects on power reduction, energy and indoor air temperature in an old apartment building with district heating.
KirjoittajatHatef Hajian, Kaiser Ahmed, Jarek Kurnitski
JulkaisijaEnergy and Buildings
ISBN/DOIhttps://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10609 
Julkaisupäivä13.05.2022

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of the dynamic heating control on power reduction and indoor air temperature in a typical Finnish block of apartments built in 1981. The building operated in 2018 with conventional and in 2020 with dynamic heating control. The onsite measured data was collected from both periods. Measured data enabled calibrating the whole building simulation models with an accuracy better than 10%. A new dynamic heating curve control algorithm was developed so that outdoor air compensated supply temperature was reduced during high use of Domestic Hot Water (DHW) by applying DHW compensation differential. If the indoor air temperature in any apartment dropped below the limit, supply temperature uplift was applied. The dynamic heating control resulted in 8.9% space heating and 13.7% total heating power reduction while had practically no effect on energy use. On the contrary, dynamic heating control slightly increased indoor temperature fluctuations, but both control systems resulted in a similar value of hours below the setpoint temperature of 21 °C. The results demonstrate that heating power reduction without compromising indoor air temperature is possible with applied supply temperature drop during DHW peaks and preheating afterwards.

Julkaisun nimiCitizen beliefs concerning wood as a construction material under extreme weather events.
KirjoittajatVehola, A., Hurmekoski, E., Lähtinen, K., Ruokamo, E., Roos, A., Toivonen, R. & Toppinen, A.
JulkaisijaCanadian Journal of Forest Research
ISBN/DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2022-0108
Julkaisupäivä27.07.2022

Abstract

Climate change places great pressure on the construction sector to decrease its greenhouse gas emissions and to create solutions that perform well in changing weather conditions. Our study explores citizen perceptions on wood usage as a building material under expected mitigation and adaptation measures aimed at a changing climate and extreme weather events. The data are founded on an internet-based survey material collected from a consumer panel from Finland and Sweden during May–June 2021, with a total of 2015 responses. By employing exploratory factor analysis, we identified similar belief structures for the two countries, consisting of both positive and negative views on wood construction. In linear regression models for predicting these beliefs, the perceived seriousness of climate change was found to increase positive views on wood construction but was insignificant for negative views. Both in Finland and Sweden, higher familiarity with wooden multistory construction was found to connect with more positive views on the potential of wood in building, e.g., due to carbon storage and material properties. Our findings underline the potential of wood material use as one avenue of climate change adaptation in the built environment. Future research should study how citizens’ concerns for extreme weather events affect their future material preferences in their everyday living environments, also beyond the Nordic region.

Julkaisun nimiWooden multi-storey construction market development – systematic literature review within a global scope with insights on the Nordic region
KirjoittajatJaakko Jussila, Emil Nagy, Katja Lähtinen, Elias Hurmekoski, Liina Häyrinen, Cecilia Mark-Herbert, Anders Roos, Ritva Toivonen, Anne Toppinen
JulkaisijaSilva Fennica
ISBN/DOIhttps://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10609 
Julkaisupäivä20.01.2022

Tiivistelmä

Puun käyttö kerrostalorakentamisessa on noussut mielenkiintoiseksi vaihtoehdoksi kaupunkiympäristössä, sillä puu toimii rakennuksissa pitkäaikaisena hiilivarastona. Tutkimuskatsauksemme keskittyi kokoamaan yhteen puukerrostalorakentamisen markkinoiden kasvun keskeisiä esteitä ja mahdollistavia tekijöitä, tunnistamaan alan keskeisiä toimijoita sekä käytettyjä tutkimusmenetelmiä. Synteesi muodostui vuosien 2000–2020 aikana ilmestyneistä vajaasta 700 artikkelista Web of Science ja Scopus-tietokannoissa, joista 42 artikkelia valikoitui lopulliseen sisältöanalyysiin. Tulosten mukaan puukerrostalorakentamisen yleistymistä tukee erityisesti teollisen esivalmistuksen mahdollistama kustannustehokkuus sekä erityisesti kuluttajien ja arkkitehtien näkemykset puumateriaalien eduista kestävän kehityksen näkökulmasta. Olemassa olevaa tutkimusta hallitsevat tapaustutkimukset, laadullisten aineistojen käyttö ja maantieteellinen keskittyminen Pohjoismaihin.

Abstract

Climate change sets high pressures on the construction industry to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Due to the carbon storage properties and potential to use renewable resources efficiently, wooden multi-storey construction (WMC) is an interesting alternative for the construction industry to enhance sustainable development combined with the aesthetic and well-being benefits of wood perceived among many consumers. For forest industry firms, industrial wood construction is a possibility to seek for business opportunities and bring socio-economic benefits for local economies. Despite positive drivers, WMC still remains a niche even in the forest-rich countries.The purpose of our study is to add understanding on the WMC market development by conducting a systematic literature analysis on international peer-reviewed studies from the past 20 years. Our special focus is on the role of WMC in the housing markets studied from the perspectives of the demand, supply and local governance factors. As specific aims, we 1) synthesize the key barriers and enabling factors for the WMC market growth; 2) identify the actors addressed in the existing studies connected to the WMC market development, and 3) summarize research methods and analytical approaches used in the previous studies. As a systematic method to make literature searches in Web of Science and Scopus for years 2000–2020, we employed PRISMA guidelines. By using pre-determined keywords, our searches resulted in a sample of 696 articles, of which 42 full articles were after selection procedure included in-depth content analysis. Our results showed cost-efficiency gains from industrialized prefabrication and perceived sustainability benefits by consumers and architects enabled a WMC market diffusion. The lack of experiences on the WMC, and path dependencies to use concrete and steel continue to be key barriers for increased WMC. Although our research scope was the global WMC market development, most of the literature concerned the Nordic region. The key actors covered in the literature were businesses (e.g., contractors, manufacturers and architects) involved in the wood construction value-chains, while residents and actors in the local governance were seldomly addressed. Currently, case studies, the use of qualitative data sets and focus on the Nordic region dominate the literature. This hinders the generalizability of findings in different regional contexts. In the future, more research is needed on how sustainability-driven wood construction value-chains are successfully shaping up in different geographical regions, and how they could challenge the dominant concrete-based construction regime.