Application of the Active House design principles on Finnish multistorey apartment building.

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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Master’s Programme in Creative Sustainability
108 + 1
The Active House Label is a recently developed certification method for buildings. Currently there are only approximately 100 buildings with an Active House Label, and most of them are in the EU and 0 in Finland. The Active House label presents itself as a simpler way of ensuring that buildings meet the current goals of Indoor Climate, Energy, and Environmental Impact. Helsinki, the Capital of Finland, is one of the fastest-growing cities in the EU. The rapid growth of the City increases the demand for new apartments. Most of the apartment buildings constructed in the Helsinki region share similar design elements and special qualities. The growth in building industry requires that special consideration is given to the design and environmental impact of buildings that should last at least 50 years. This project investigates how the design of Finnish apartment buildings would differ if it would aim to meet the highest Active House standards. In this work, the Active house certification tools and methods are used to determine typical Finnish multistorey apartment building's performance results. Results are compared with the apartment building that is designed to meet the highest Active house criteria. The apartment building designed in this project aims to achieve high performance using combination of architectural elements and passive strategies, The apartment building`s design based on the Active House tools and manuals, illuminates weaknesses and strengths of this certification system. The architectural design of the new apartment building indicates elements and passive strategies that could be applied in other projects and indicates what can be expected. Active House analysis of the typical Finnish apartment building indicates expected quality in current development and areas of improvement. This project illustrates the importance of the architect's involvement in a performance-driven design and suggests design directions that contemporary architecture might go towards.
Vikström, Sami
Thesis advisor
Lylykangas, Kimmo
active house, indoor comfort, energy efficiency, environmental loads, daylight design, sustainability
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