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Tour in the sustainable campus

Sustainable development has an important role in the development of the Otaniemi campus.

Sustainable development solutions at the Otaniemi campus were presented in April on a walking tour organised by Aalto University Campus & Real Estate.

Right now, the Aalto main campus is growing and developing rapidly. Campus planning is investing in energy efficiency, which is an important step in the goal towards an energy self-sufficient Otaniemi ‘According to our report, ground heat and solar energy are the most suitable options for Otaniemi, and we are gradually increasing their use’, tells Satu Kankaala, Head of Workplaces and Sustainability at Aalto CRE. ‘The campus is made unique by several culturally significant locations as well as the nearby nature and conservation area. They also impact what kinds of energy technologies can be used in the properties’, she continues.

According to Kankaala, also financial sustainability, the wellbeing of people working in the spaces, and improving the utilisation of the spaces are central aspects of responsible campus development.

On the campus tour organised for Aalto faculty and staff, Doctoral Candidate Katri-Liisa Pulkkinen presented her thoughts on the development of a sustainable campus. Her presentation inspired discussion on how researchers, students and the university could improve cooperation on campus development in the future.

There are a total of 920 solar panels on the roofs of the TUAS and T buildings.

At the moment, solar energy is being used in six buildings in Otaniemi. All in all, there are 920 solar panels on the roofs of the TUAS building at Maarintie 8 and the T building at Konemiehentie 2, making up 340 m². They cover about 6% of the buildings’ electricity consumption, or up to 20% in the summertime. In optimal conditions, electricity production comes up to around 1 kWh per panel square.

About 45% of the energy used for heating and 75% of the energy used for cooling the recently repaired Dipoli comes from geothermal energy. Geothermal energy will comprise about 90% of the heating and up to 95% of the cooling of Väre, which will be finished next year. The electricity consumption of campus buildings has considerably been reduced by measures such as shifting to LED lighting and improving the power management of the computer base. With these energy efficiency measures, the carbon footprint of the buildings has been significantly reduced.

Campus energy efficiency development is a collaboration of the Sustainability team coordinated by Aalto CRE. In addition, there is a Responsibility and sustainable development working group where the theme is explored more extensively, especially from the viewpoint of university services.

The garden for decaying wood supports the diversity of species.

The garden for decaying wood located in Maarinranta was created by volunteers to support natural diversity and to inspire interest in the significance of decaying wood in urban nature. Decaying wood has an important role in the protection of species. ‘A major cause for the disappearance of species in Finland is the scarcity of decaying wood. Anyone can bring more branches to the garden so that it can be sustained’, tells Doctoral Candidate Meeri Karvinen who volunteered in the garden project. The project was driven by a design contest organised in 2013 by the Finnish Association of Nature Conservation, Aalto ARTS landscape architecture and the University of Helsinki, and won by landscape architecture student Sofia Tigerstedt.

The urban cultivation area in April.

The urban cultivation area located in Ossinlampi since the autumn of 2013 is intended for practical and recreational purposes of Aalto students and staff, and the operation is managed by the Otaniemi urban gardening association. Following Tigerstedt's design, the area contains 45 plots that are sized 7 to 25m². You can find more information on plot applications and the association's operation on Inside and the association's Facebook site (Otaniemen kaupunkiviljely-yhdistys ry).

More information:
Figures of sustainable development and reports

Satu Kankaala
Head of Workplaces and Sustainability
Aalto CRE
[email protected]
tel +358400 535 919

Aalto University Campus & Real Estate - ACRE

Aalto University Campus & Real Estate (ACRE) maintains, develops and rents out Aalto University facilities in Otaniemi and Töölö. We also build new concepts and shared facilities for parties outside the university, thus turning Otaniemi into a unique partnership centre and the most inspiring campus in the world.

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