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“KOJA IS THE TRUSTED PARTNER OF CHOICE FOR OUR HOUSING COMPANY”

As Oy Soukanharju and two other Espoo-based housing companies switched to geothermal energy together. Satisfied residents save both on electricity consumption and maintenance charges.

The use of renewable energy has always been near Irmeli Puurtinen’s heart. When she was chairing the housing company’s Board of Directors for her first term, she suggested switching to geothermal heating.

“I got the opportunity to arrange a discussion meeting for the shareholders of As Oy Soukanharju, for which I gathered information on the technology and economic benefits of geothermal heating. The decision to switch to geothermal heating was eventually made in November 2016,” says Puurtinen.

SYNERGY BENEFITS FROM A JOINT PROJECT

Built in 1971, the Soukanlahti building has 10 residential floors and 200 residents. The annual heating costs were well above EUR 100,000. Potential and calculated savings from geothermal heating were significant, as was the radically reduced carbon footprint.

“We set up a joint project with two other housing companies. We obtained significant synergies with regard to both contracts and expertise and, of course, from the fact that the necessary equipment was available on-site at the same time,” says Puurtinen.

Thanks to a professional designer, the housing companies did not need to use the property manager's services. Tervo Group Oy served as the designed, the energy field was constructed by Rototec Oy, and Koja Oy was chosen as the project executor.

“Koja has a proven track record as a supplier of air handling systems for ships and industrial applications, for example. Furthermore, Koja is a Finnish company with sufficient financial standing to guarantee a reliable delivery to a large housing company complex. Koja will certainly be our trusted partner of choice in future as well. As the next step, we will consider apartment-specific cooling,” says Puurtinen.

HEATING COSTS DOWN, PROPERTY VALUE UP

Koja supplied the equipment for geothermal heating and heat recovery. The delivery included eight 60-kW heat pumps, a 300-kW electric boiler, five reservoirs and two buffer reservoirs, four HiLTO heat recovery units and other necessary equipment, such as heat exchangers, pumps, valves and expansion tanks.

“The scheduling of the project and the linking of tasks was challenging, but it succeeded very well. The exchange of information and weighing of solutions was easy with Koja's personnel and partners. Koja’s installers even stayed overnight in the housing company’s premises to avoid spending time on commuting,” says Puurtinen.

Koja also provided the housing company with a remote monitoring system both for heating and for the monitoring of hot water and the flow of exhaust air. District heating was switched off in December 2017, and the large building started to warm up in a few hours.

“According to the Finnish Real Estate Federation, maintenance charges have risen by 3% on average. Following the switch to geothermal heating, we have lowered the maintenance charge in the same extent, 50 cents per share. The energy bill decreased during the first four months of 2019 by 69 % compared to district heating, and the value of the property has certainly increased,” Puurtinen concludes. 

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