Energy-savvy solutions reduce new Isku Center’s carbon footprint by 90 per cent

"Isku Center has lots of parking space."

Isku is renovating its former factory property into ultramodern premises for companies that value responsibility

The leading Finnish interior design company Isku Oy is completely renovating its former factory property in Lahti. The building’s robust frame will remain in place and will house new premises whose user comfort, efficiency and energy-efficiency represent today’s cutting edge. The solutions designed by the energy service company LeaseGreen for Isku Center are set to cut the property’s CO₂ emissions by as much as 90 per cent, compared to the technology used in similar buildings.

“Responsibility and sustainable development are two of Isku Center’s cornerstones,” says Hanna Eskola, Director of Quality and Environment at Isku. “A new energy system is currently being installed at the heart of the property, which brings together top-notch energy efficiency, high-quality indoor air, and a very small carbon footprint. This is what we call energy wisdom, which is a step up from energy efficiency.”

Isku Center is a business complex, which already houses Isku’s own headquarters, the financial management advisory company Accountor, and Huurre, which specialises in cooling technology. According to Eskola, once the second phase of the renovation is completed in the autumn, there will be almost unlimited possibilities for adapting the premises to the needs of diverse commercial or production operations. Interaction between the business centre’s tenants and the education sector will also be enhanced in the autumn, when Lahti University of Applied Sciences (LUAS) moves all of its operations to the same address. Other businesses that will join them are the logistics company Niemi in late 2018, and the IT company CGI, in early 2019.

“We are turning Isku Center into the most attractive business campus in the Päijät-Häme region, and we want to invite all businesses that value inspiring facilities, excellent services and responsible operations to join us there,” Eskola says.

The energy wisdom at Isku Center is based on an exceptionally efficient geothermal heat pump system that takes care of both the heating and cooling of the property. A solar power system will be installed on the roof to generate electricity for use in the property’s cooling and for charging electric cars, among other things.

The heat pumps have a capacity of 1,050 kW, which is equivalent to more than one hundred of the geothermal pumps that are usually installed in single-family homes. The property will remain connected to the district heating system for extra support, in order to even out the consumption peaks caused by the winter’s coldest days.

“What is unique is the seamless interplay between energy consumption and local energy production, which allows us to minimise the need for external energy purchases. This reduces not only costs, but also emissions. Isku Center will apply for a top-of-the-range environmental certificate, and the energy it buys will come from green sources: wind, hydroelectric and bioenergy.”

According to Quality and Environment Director Hanna Eskola, Isku follows the principles of resource efficiency and responsibility in everything it does. The corporation, which is laying the ground for its 90th anniversary, has recently modernised the production and building technology systems of its factory, located next door to Isku Center – the latter systems being done in collaboration with LeaseGreen. The new energy solutions have reduced the factory’s energy consumption by nearly 50 per cent.

“For us, responsibility also implies healthy, durable and sustainable material choices and waste management,” says Eskola.

“We have made the shift to solvent-free surface treatments and water-soluble upholstery adhesives, which means that we no longer need an environmental licence to operate. We trace the origins of all of the wood we use, and we buy all of our MDF and plywood from Finland. Here at Isku, we don’t want to just follow the letter of the law; we want to exceed requirements. We strongly believe that responsible operations are also profitable operations.”