Customer case

New ecovillage in Parainen, Finland to be carbon negative

May 04, 2022 6 min read

Ecovillage at Parainen

Case details

Country Finland
Industry Building structures and infrastructure

Construction company Godai Oy is building a carbon-negative small house ecovillage to Parainen, Finland. Godai is concerned about the environmental aspects of climate change in the construction industry and this construction project has high goals, as the plan is to build Finland’s first carbon-negative small houses. According to the Ministry of the Environment, construction and buildings account for about one third of Finland’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Case details

Country Finland
Industry Building structures and infrastructure
Villa Pagua, Parainen

Wooden concept house, Villa Bagua

In order to achieve the demanding goal of the project, high demands are placed on both the materials used and the energy solutions. The houses built by Godai are energy efficient, use solar energy and recycle grey water. The houses are constructed to fulfill need of six different environmental certifications. Macon Oy performs carbon footprint calculations for the entire life cycle of the buildings.

The first step in the whole project is to build one wooden concept house, Villa Bagua, and later in the year, seven similar small houses will be completed in the ecovillage nearby. SSAB delivered and Auranmaan Teräspaaluttajat executed piling for the concept house in early 2022. The ecovillage itself, with seven houses similar to Villa Bagua, will be completed by the end of 2022.

We have done a lot of research on each solution and material we use. We chose to use RRs steel piles since they are stronger and that way the total amount of steel and piles required is lower. RRs steel piles are also lighter to transport, which reduces the carbon footprint even further. Calculating carbon footprint is essential to us. Compensating for carbon footprint is already somewhat common but creating a carbon negative product is not. We wanted to be the industry’s trendsetter also in this matter and to build even more responsibly.

Nina Ingelius, Founder & CEO of Godai

The soil in the area is old seabed, which means it is wet and has a thick layer of soft clay. The houses are founded on SSAB RR piles, which are an obvious choice due to low CO2-emissions, soft and moist soil, lightness and lower displacement of soil compared to concrete pile.

The houses are built off the ground to prevent moisture from soil rising to structures. Piles were cut clearly above the ground level and beams made of SSAB Weathering steel in 355 grade were installed on top of steel piles. Installation of prefabricated wooden elements is easy on top of them. This kind of steel foundation structure enables good ventilation below floor structure to keep structures dry. Ground freezing is prevented with insulating layer of foam glass.

Construction work at Villa Bagua, Parainen

SSAB Weathering construction on top of SSAB RR steel piles

Lower weight of piles enabled us to take all pile elements to site in just one truck load. Less transportation means naturally less environmental impact. Also all handling of pile elements is easier on site, when piles are lighter.

Toni Sillanpää, CEO of Auranmaan Teräspaaluttajat

Piling in Villa Pagua, Parainen

Auranmaan Teräspaaluttajat executing piling for the concept house Villa Bagua

Each house has 18 piles and garages 8 piles. Size of all piles is RRs115/8. Steel grade of piles is S550J2H, which is clearly stronger than more usual S460MH steel grade. Use of higher steel grades enables use of more lightweight piles and by that reduces the CO2 emissions of the pile materials. Pile lengths in concept house were between 35 and 40 meters, totally 660 meters. For remaining seven houses, the pile lengths will be also about 30 to 40 meters long. With piles this long, the use of RR elements with mechanical splices is the most cost efficient and time saving solution.