Lintulahti – The first LEED Platinum in Europe
The Lintulahti office building, completed in 2010 in Helsinki, was the first European building to receive a LEED Platinum certificate. Built by Skanska Commercial Development Finland and consulted by Pöyry Building Services, Lintulahti is registered to the European Union’s Green Building Programme. The building was used to study how to apply LEED to Finnish conditions. The certification criteria for the building were sustainable land use, water efficiency, energy consumption, material choices & recycling, indoor air quality as well as innovations in the design process.
In the future all possible tenants will be encouraged to continue the process towards a highly environmentally friendly office. The flexible office spaces allow future modifications in the use of the building. The office sizes can be easily changed and the cooling beams can be adjusted in accordance to modifications inside the building.
Urban regeneration and local aspects of construction
The 10,700m² Lintulahti office is situated in the Kalasatama area of Helsinki. The project was built on the brownfield site after the contaminated soil from past activites was removed. Therefore, the office building was a part of rebuilding the area as a whole.
During construction, all environmental effects were minimized and regional materials were favored. An erosion and sediment control plan was implemented on-site. All the materials exceeded the Finnish voluntary MI-standards and were non-toxic: they include non-bromide flame-retardants, halogen-free electrical insulation, and PEPC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certified timber. Over 10 % of all materials were recycled. The project also took social responsibility into account by using as many local workers as possible.
The building’s effects on the urban environment are minimized by reducing the heat island effect and light pollution: only necessary lights are used, the courtyard is covered with plants as well as reflecting surfaces and the parking space is located underground to reduce dark surfaces outdoors.
Renewable energy sources, low-enegy use and good air quality
The building uses external energy and all of it comes from renewable wind- and hydropower. The whole building has been designed to reduce energy consumption: the building envelope is twice as airtight as the Finnish requirements and the windows’ U-value of 1.1 W/m²K is 0.3 lower than what Finnish building regulations demand.
Also the automated management system for air conditioning, heating, and cooling uses various methods to keep energy consumption low: efficient district heating and cooling uses sunshades on windows; an optimal operation ventilation system controlled by occupancy sensors; fresh air cooling through operable windows; heat recovery units. The primary energy coefficient of the district heating is 0.4 and of the cooling it is 0.2. Cooling is managed with the use of seawater or absorption technology.
Artificial lighting is minimal as natural light reaches 85 % of the interior spaces. The annual energy consumption of Lintulahti is 120 kWh/m², which is 27 % less than what the current Finnish regulations demand. Tenants can monitor their energy consumption to encourage further savings.
The indoor planning of the office included guaranteed good quality of indoor air: the concentration of volatile organic compounds is only 200µg/m²/h, which is very low. Also the use of non-toxic materials has added to a better quality of air. All devices and equipment are water-efficient and the water system is also automatically managed.