TTÜ renovates its old dormitory as nearly zero-energy building
Tallinn University of Technology (TTÜ) has launched a scientific renovation of its family dormitory as a nearly zero-energy building.
The project is unique in the Baltic and Nordic countries and the building will serve as a prototype for renovating similar apartment buildings, constructed in Estonia up to 50 years ago.
The progress of the renovation at Akadeemia tee 5A can be followed in a video stream.
According to Targo Kalamees, Professor of Building Physics at TTÜ, it is a new step in improving the quality and speed of building renovation. “Estonia’s woodhouse manufacturers have been successful in exporting new buildings to Europe and to the world. This pilot project will result in the development of a new product for Estonian woodhouse manufacturers to conquer the world. Placement of ventilation ducts in wall panels reduces the number of visible ducts in an apartment and saves space,” adds Kalamees.
Professor Jarek Kurnitski, the Director of Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture at TTÜ, maintains that the biggest challenge of the project is using prefabricated exterior wall panels for renovation. “This solution, which is widely used in new buildings, relocates the bulk of the work from the construction site to the factory, resulting in improved quality and efficiency. In order to use the technology for the building at Akadeemia 5A, we had to develop anchoring solutions for modular panels, modify the structural design of the panels, and integrate ventilation ducts inside them. If we succeed in our objectives, the resulting new solutions can lead to significant changes in the construction market," Professor Kurnitski emphasised.
Akadeemia tee 5A is the address of the TTÜ’s family dormitory, completed in 1986, and renovating it as a building with Class A energy efficiency will improve the living conditions for TTÜ students. The works are scheduled to be completed in September 2017.
Many civil engineering researchers of the TTÜ are involved in the renovation, conducting studies during the reconstruction and investigating physical functionality of the building envelope, as well as the indoor climate and energy efficiency of the building after completion.
The renovation is made unique by the application of prefabricated modular panels, which are used to insulate the walls and roof of the building. This ensures a high quality of construction and significantly shortens the period of works on site. The goal of renovation is to test the manufacturing process and functionality of the new modular panels, to achieve drastic reduction in energy consumption, and to modernise the utility systems and interior design of the building.
The modular panels were developed in the Horizon 2020 research project MoreConnect with the participation of 18 partners from seven European countries. In addition to TTÜ, the Estonian contributors to this research and development project include Matek AS and REF Ehitustööd OÜ.
The general contractor of renovation is OMA Ehitaja. Renovation design is prepared by design company Sirkel & Mall OÜ.
In addition to exterior walls, the prefabricated insulated elements will be installed also on the roof. The building will have a heat recovery ventilation system, solar collectors for making hot water, wastewater heat recovery and a solar power system, which will ensure energy efficiency at nearly zero-energy level.
The renovation of the building is supported by the European Union Horizon 2020 project MoreConnect.
Built in 1986, the dormitory at Akadeemia tee 5A was the last unrenovated student home of the TTÜ campus.