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Finnish researchers to provide solutions for energy-efficient repairs in residential districts in Moscow
by Staff Writers
Helsinki, Finland (SPX) May 22, 2013


File image courtesy AFP.

There are many old and decrepit residential buildings in Moscow in need of refurbishment. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed three repair concepts for improving the energy efficiency of both buildings and entire residential districts while also reducing their environmental impact. Calculations show that it would be possible to reduce heating demand in buildings by up to 70%. Even minor repairs can achieve significant energy savings.

Most of the residential buildings in Moscow were built after the Second World War. Many of them are in poor shape and waste a lot of energy. VTT conducted a pilot study in a typical Moscow residential district, with a population of about 14,000.

VTT developed three repair concepts for improving the energy efficiency of both buildings and the district as a whole while also reducing their environmental impact.

These concepts address not only energy consumption and water consumption solutions but also the processing of waste generated in the district. The findings of the study may be leveraged in determining the goals for repairs. However, impact assessment for repairs will require in depth financial analyses to be conducted.

The basic concept developed by VTT for residential apartment buildings in Moscow incorporates affordable and easily implemented minimum repairs. Even the simplest of repairs could reduce the heating energy consumption in these buildings by about 40%. The improved repair concept can result in even better energy efficiency or eco-efficiency.

The advanced repair concept is the most progressive of the three concepts presented. Calculations show that it would be possible to reduce heating energy consumption in buildings by up to 70%, and of electricity by about 25%. In practice, this involves for example improving heat insulation, installing heat recovery equipment in ventilation systems and improving water systems.

Because improving energy efficiency in individual buildings would not necessarily reduce the energy consumption of the district as a whole, VTT also developed three concepts for improving eco-efficiency in residential districts. In these concepts, the focus is on analysing energy production options, improving energy, water and waste water networks, improving waste management and improving outdoor lighting. Significant energy savings may be achieved at the district level using the repair scenarios presented.

These savings may amount to nearly 40% in electricity demand and more than 70% in heating demand. Emissions analyses show that replacing natural gas with biogas in energy production would reduce carbon dioxide emissions but would increase sulphur dioxide and particulate emissions.

A better solution would be to produce energy using renewable energy technologies such as geothermal heat pumps, solar panels, solar collectors or wind turbines; all of these would reduce overall emissions.

Currently, water consumption in Moscow is 272 litres per resident per day. Implementing a variety of new solutions would theoretically allow this to be brought down as far as to 100 litres, although this is a tough goal to meet.

At present, more than 60% of the community waste generated in residential districts ends up at a landfill, while just under a third is incinerated and about 10% recycled. Developing waste management processes would allow the reuse rate to be increased to more than 75%. This would require not only infrastructure development but active waste recycling procedures adopted by the residents.

Statistics published by Rosstat indicate that there are some 40,000 residential buildings in Moscow, with a total of nearly 4 million homes. Of this residential building stock, 52% was built between 1945 and 1975.

The VTT study was funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

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