A view of the new apartment building at Hakunila, Vantaa.

Largest Swan-ecolabeled apartment building in Finland

The apartment building we built in Hakunila, Vantaa, fills the strict environmental requirements for the Nordic Swan ecolabel. The property, located in Kaskelantie 1, was the biggest building in Finland at the time with the Nordic Swan ecolabel. NCC built the property with 127 rental flats, owned by VAV Asunnot Ltd.

The Nordic Swan properties must be energy efficient, special attention must be paid to indoor air quality and the chemicals and construction materials used. Waste management must also be efficient and the Kaskelantie 1 construction site manage to recycle no less than 74 percent of all the construction waste.

Carefully Selected Materials

The Nordic Swan Ecolabel is applied for by collecting points based on the label criteria, some of which are mandatory. Kaskelantie 1 is the first residential block of flats which meets the new stricter Nordic Swan criteria. The Nordic Swan ecolabel checked whether the criteria was met. Additionally, all the construction products had to be pre-approved. The whole process required close co-operation between NCC and the Nordic Swan.

As the projects only use products approved by the Nordic Swan ecolabel, the residents can trust that the construction materials do not include components which might cause cancer or affect hormones or reproductive ability. The flats built following the Nordic Swan criteria have better air quality, safer construction materials and fewer chemical products.

Recycling at the Construction Site

The Kaskelantie construction site received special recognition from the Ecolabel for the recycling and reuse of the construction waste. The fantastic 70 percent recycling rate was achieved with close co-operation with the service company L&T and by using previous operation models developed by NCC which reduce the amount of general waste produced. L&T also offered a new system for up-to-date monitoring of the recycling level which meant that changes could be quickly managed. Special attention was also paid to managing the amount of waste, the responsibilities of the subcontractors and the logistics.

More Sustainable Construction

Even though the property was built following the Nordic Swan requirements, the project did not cause additional expenses to the future residents. The Kaskelantie apartments are reasonably priced rental homes which were rented out the same way as other VAV properties.

The Kaskelantie 1 project was a part of the continuing sustainable construction co-operation for VAV and NCC. For the 2015 Housing Fair, the companies built the environmentally sustainable Opaali block of flats to Kivistö, which has a 20% smaller carbon footprint compared to other similar blocks of flats.