Estonian wooden houses sector is getting ready for nearly zero-energy buildings
07. October 2014

Estonian Wooden Houses Cluster held a seminar „A Year in Nearly Zero-Energy Building (nZEB)“ to mark a successful first year of the Tallinn Technical University (TTU) nZEB pilot project. Initial research results of the nZEB testhouse were presented and it was discussed on how to build nearly zero-energy buildings. 

The TTU testhouse is located in Tallinn, Mäepealse Street 3 and is functioning as the science and testing laboratory for building constructions. The testhouse is a wooden prefab house and it was manufactured by Estonian company Matek AS. Mr Sven Mats, the CEO of Matek AS and the Chairman of the Estonian Wooden Houses Association, told that they planned to build a house in which the investment and the later exploration is balanced.

„The cost of the building was the highest in Tallinn at the time - bulk of money was spent on various technosystems,“ told Mats. The testhouse is a high tech laboratory which has different technological solutions – variants of thermal insulations, energy efficient equipments for heating, cooling, ventilation and hot water and solar energy generating systems. Different options for facade and roof constructions were used for comparing and retrieving the best results in energy use.

The head of the nZEB investigation group, TTU professor Jarek Kurnitski, stated that the nZEB standard, coming into operation in 2021, provides us a real opportunity to build better houses and also to improve the energy sufficiency of the houses built earlier. Kurnitski told that it is a great opportunity for the whole construction sector: „ We have clear signs that nZEB gives us better inner climate and that leads to the satisfaction of the client.“ „Technologies to reach nZEB are already available,“ told Kurnitski.  

The manager of the Estonian Wooden Houses Cluster, Mr Lauri Kivil, told that the ongoing testhouse project has a significant impact to the future perspectives of the wooden houses manufacturing sector: „ Each innovative construction process is initally expensive, but we have to make first steps to develop the awareness of nZEB. The time to act is now.“

However, further technology develeopment is needed to fully meet the nZEB requirements. Kivil hopes that in the next years the cooperation with TTU scientists provides Estonian manufactures with sustainable type solutions. „In future, energy efficient houses are made in factories,“ Mr Kivil is convinced. 

The seminar was supported by European Regional Development Fund through cluster development program of Enterprise Estonia in the frames of "Estonian Wooden Houses Exporters Cluster Project".