Salmisaarentalo, Finland

A unique city-centre building using BREEAM to achieve very good building management

Project Details

  • Scheme & Version: BREEAM In-Use International 2015
  • Certification Stage: In-Use
  • Rating: Asset: Very Good, Building Management: Very Good
  • Overall Score: Asset: 57.7 %, Building Management: 63.2 %

Project Team

  • Developer / Client: Hemsö Rättsväsendefastigheter Finland Oy
  • Building Management: Colliers International Finland Oy
  • Assessor Company: Green Building Partners Oy

About the Building

The Salmisaarentalo building was originally constructed in 1940 and expanded in 1956 as the headquarters and factory for the Finnish alcohol  company Oy Alkoholiliike Ab (Alko). The building was used by Alko until the year 2000 and was  renovated in 2004 for the use of Helsinki Courthouse. Currently, the building hosts the District Court of Helsinki, Helsinki District Prosecution and the Helsinki Legal Aid Office. In addition, there are minor retail spaces and a restaurant in the building.
The BREEAM In-Use Certification process was initiated by the former owner Sponda Oyj in early 2018 and the certification was received in November 2018. The property was sold to the current owner Hemsö in the beginning of 2019. The building scored relatively evenly in all BREEAM In-Use categories, which was partially a result from the recent refurbishments in 2004 and 2010, in which the building was technically updated to meet modern office and courthouse standards. The basis for the good scores were recently renovated and energy efficient main technical systems, the excellent location in Helsinki with public transportation and services and an active and environmental approach to building management. In addition, the asset is connected to the Helsinki city wide district heating and cooling networks.
At the moment Hemsö is investigating alternative solutions for improving the heating system to reduce energy consumption. Hemsö’s overall goal is to improve energy efficiency with 3 percent yearly (like-for-like portfolio) and the latest 2035 become climate neutral for the standing portfolio. A goal has been set to make the property a zero-emission asset by the year 2025. Geo-energy solutions, large solar panel systems and smarter building automation systems are being researched in order to achieve this.

Why did the building undergo BREEAM certification?

Hemsö is the leading owner of properties for public use in Sweden. Our vision is to
be the best property company for community services/social infrastructure. Hemsö
conducted two pilot studies in 2018 to investigate whether BREEAM In-Use would be a useful internal tool to work with continuous improvement aligned with our sustainability strategy and goals for our entire standing portfolio. The certification of Salmisaarentalo was part of a larger certification project for the previous owner Sponda Oyj.

The building performed best in the following categories:

  • Transportation 83 % – nearby bus stops and subway station, services widely
  • Waste 100 % – 8 waste streams are collected. Over 4 waste streams is a standard
    practice in Finland.
  • Management: Materials 100 % – Proactive approach to building upkeep including
    condition studies, environmental procurement policy, fire inspections and emergency plan.

The BREEAM In-Use have also resulted in the following actions on a Hemsö
management level:

  • Started to use BREEAM In-Use as a tool for improvement of asset management.
  • We have currently four certificated buildings, 13 ongoing projects and at the end of
    2020 we are planning to have about 30 certifications all together.
  • Started the work on strategies on climate risk analysis and resilience.
  • Started to work strategic with the BREEAM In-Use action plans.
  • Started to work with analyzing the results from BREEAM In-Use on an international
    level, comparing the assets in Sweden, Finland and Germany.

Benefits of Assessing to BREEAM

It´s very important for Hemsö as a landlord that we can verify our procedures and property conditions by a reliable certification system. Our tenants have been satisfied about BREEAM In-Use projects and changes which have been made pending the project. We strongly believe that all certifications support overall performance of portfolio and properties. -Mika Kvist, technical asset manager Hemsö Finland