Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings

Project completed
Child on a bike in front of the school building in Rakvere
The school building in Rakvere was built in the Soviet period. The small town in the north of Estonia is now transforming it into a modern energy-efficient building for a preschool. © SECO

The project aims at reducing emission of greenhouse gases by increasing energy efficiency in public buildings and improving the living environment of people through the promotion of energy-efficient building standards. In particular, four buildings are renovated and two new buildings constructed according to technical specifications formulated in the feasibility study on low-energy buildings developed specifically for the climate of Estonia.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Estonia
Protecting the environment
Energy efficiency and renewable energy
01.06.2012 - 30.11.2016
CHF 6'500'000

Note: the texts under all the headings, with the exception of 'Results achieved', describe the situation before the start of the project.

Background

Buildings in Estonia consume approximately 20-30% more energy than similar buildings in other EU countries with a similar climate. There are no established Estonian standards on low-energy building and only a limited number of specialists focusing on research and development on low-energy buildings in Estonia is available. Therefore, the project aims at increasing the number of low-energy building design specialists and improving the availability of respective information.

Objectives
  • To increase energy efficiency of six demonstration buildings
  • To increase the awareness of the public and building professionals,
    which will in turn contribute to the establishment of a low energy building standard
Target groups
  • The municipalities as owners of the buildings will save expenses for energy consumption, which can be used to improve the quality and efficiency of public services.
  • Professional associations and education institutions benefit from seminars, guidelines, case studies, field visits to the demonstration projects and relevant data gathered.
  • Users of the buildings and more broadly the entire population of Estonia will benefit from a healthier environment (less CO2 emission) and possible similar projects in the future.
Activities
  • Energy efficient renovation of two kindergartens in the
    municipalities of Rakvere and Haapsalu and two schools in the municipalities of Väätsa and Rapla
  • Construction of an elderly people home in the municipality of Väätsa and a kindergarten in the municipality of Lasva according to the developed criteria and indicators on energy efficiency;
  • Dissemination of information and lessons learned from the demonstration projects. Several press releases, articles and broadcasts are planned in order to inform the public on the project and thus create visibility. Further field visit events, guidelines and case studies on planning low-energy buildings and the development of training curricula for seminars are planned in order to ensure the demonstration effect.
Results

Achieved results:  

  • Estonia has developed building standards for the construction of energy-efficient buildings.
  • Two energy-efficient buildings – a preschool in Lasva and a home for the elderly in Väätsa have been constructed.
  • Two preschools in Rakvere and Haapsalu and two basic schools in Rapla an Väätsa have been renovated.
  • CO2 emissions have been reduced by at least 90 tons per year and at least 215 MWh of energy per year are produced from renewable sources.
  • Training material for nearly-zero emmission buildings have been developed. More than 300 persons participated in four seminars and six inauguration ceremonies.


Directorate/federal office responsible SECO
Credit area Swiss Contribution to the enlarged EU
Project partners Contract partner
  • Estonian Ministry of Finance and Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication

Implementing partner
Municipalities of Väätsa, Haapsalu, Rakvere, Lasva and Rapla

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   6'500'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   6'221'950
Project phases

Phase 1 01.06.2012 - 30.11.2016   (Completed)