ARA Housing renewal – promoting energy efficiency and housing quality

Tengbom Eriksson Architects designed and edited the Housing Renewal 2009-2012 Final Report for The Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland, ARA. ARA’s main responsibility is the implementation of Finnish housing policy.

The Housing Renewal project consisted of a large number of housing and energy efficiency improvement pilots. Among others, Finland’s first energy efficient ARA-compatible solutions, within the ARA-budget limits. During the project, zero energy and passive energy apartment buildings, as well as row houses and detached houses were constructed around Finland. Among these buildings were apartments for special groups such as student housing and housing for the elderly. Besides new housing, the project included refurbishment and demolition. There are examples of municipal housing policies and real estate development. Real-estate portfolio management and decision-making tools are also presented.

The project results show that energy efficiency can be achieved at a reasonable price level, and that improvements in energy efficiency can lower housing costs even with present-day energy prices.

ARA-report, cover page

Link to the report (in Finnish only): ARA publications.

Continue reading

Visit from a Canadian Urban Planner

Dr. Geoff Ghitter, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Sustainable Energy, Environment & Economy at the University of Calgary (Calgary, Alberta, Canada), visited our office and met with Satu, Ebba and Erin from the research team to discuss Tengbom Eriksson’s research work. Topics ranged from small to large in scale – real and metaphorical and included: our Environmental Program (along with planning assessment tool, ERKKO), Östersundom Energizing Living Lab, KUUMA Quality Housing, and NewBEE.

Dr. Ghitter and Dr. Noel Keough, who holds a PhD in Sustainable Urban Design and is a professor and researcher in the Graduate Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary, were visiting Helsinki to research some of the city’s key development projects. The duo is currently working on ‘The Manchester Project’ which focuses on sustainably (low carbon) re-developing the underutilized light industrial district of Manchester in Calgary ( As such, their current research interest is in brownfield redevelopment and in mixed use concepts for urban communities that include not only residential and commercial space but also incorporate light industrial/manufacturing. They are also investigating precedents for compact, sustainable, industrial inspired urban districts – particularly Arabianranta, Jätkäsaari, Viikki and Kalasatama.

Meeting with Dr. Ghitter was a great opportunity to share knowledge and experience.

Travel Notes: Buenos Aires, Argentina

In 2007, when I was in Buenos Aires for the first time, I was shocked when the guys from the telecompany came to “cut off” my internet, literally, with scissors. Then Fernando, a real estate agent who helped me to get an apartment here, gave me a good advice: “Never forget that this is South America”. I have been living here for six months now and facing little cultural shocks every day. This city is not European, even if it might sometimes seem like it, for its people, architecture, restaurants and cafes. Actually you are reminded quite often that it’s not. Almost nothing works systematically, smoothly or the conventional way. It is definitely not like Finland. Still without any doubts Buenos Aires is my favorite city in the world.

Continue reading

Office Summer Party

We celebrated our office summer party in the beautiful allotment gardens of Ruskeasuo. An idyllic miniature garden village, secluded from the big city that surrounds it. The weather was nice and warm and the atmosphere relaxed. It was a potluck event, so everybody brought some food. Delicious food and wine, as well as sentimental music from our team member Ahti, playing the accordion.

We at Tengbom Eriksson Architects wish everybody a nice and relaxing summer!

Continue reading


Last Tuesday, 12th of February, some members of the Eriksson team followed the Finnish tradition of “Laskiainen” and went for some downhill sledding after work.

On our way to the hills, we found the stairs of the Helsinki Cathedral full of snow, and some of us couldn’t resist to try that with the sled (also known as “pulkka”). Then we continued to the hill of Kaivopuisto, which is very popular for students during this day of Laskiainen. Fortunately there were not too many people when we arrived, so we had a lot of space to go up and down the hill.

Fun and exercise in the fresh winter air!

Merry Christmas and a Successful New Year 2013!

We wish You a Merry Christmas and a Successful New Year 2013! This Christmas we have decided to spare the environment and instead of sending Christmas cards, we have given our support to the John Nurminen Foundation’s valuable work for saving the Baltic Sea.

Toivotamme teille hyvää joulua ja menestyksekästä uutta vuotta 2013! Tänä jouluna olemme päättäneet säästää ympäristöä ja joulukorttien lähettämisen sijaan olemme tänä jouluna jälleen tukeneet John Nurmisen säätiön arvokasta työtä Itämeren pelastamiseksi.

Vi önskar dig en God Jul och ett framgångsrikt Nytt År 2013! Den här julen har vi beslutat att skona miljön och istället för att skicka julkort har vi denna jul åter stött John Nurminens stiftelses värdefulla arbete för räddandet av Östersjön.

Les deseamos una Feliz Navidad y un Próspero Año Nuevo para 2013! Este año hemos decidido cuidar aun más del medioambiente y en lugar de mandar tarjetas de Navidad le hemos dado nuestro apoyo a la fundación John Nurminen por su gran trabajo para salvar el mar Báltico.

John Nurminen基金会”的波罗的海保护项目,为我们的环境做出更多的贡献。

The Office Dog

Moritz – The Office Dog

For a couple of months now, Moritz has been hanging out in the office, greeting people when he passes by and making us smile.  He has accompanied his owner Jonna to work.  Moritz, a whippet, is only 4 and ½ months old, but is a very well behaving fellow. He is keeping a low profile and sometimes you don’t even know that he is there, but his presence is calming. It has actually been studied that having a dog in the office may reduce stress and increase job satisfaction for all employees. Continue reading


Kestävän suunnittelun lisäksi Eriksson Arkkitehdit osallistuu ilmastotalkoisiin muun muassa työmatkapyöräilyn välityksellä. Osallistuimme tänä vuonna Kilometrikisaan. Kärkipaikkoja emme kolkutelleet, mutta tulipahan raitista ilmaa ja liikuntaa. Tässä kisastatistiikkaa: kahdeksanhenkinen joukkueemme polki yhteensä 4158 km eli 519,75 km/hlö. Bensaa säästimme 291 litraa. Olimme omassa sarjassamme sijalla 849. Konttorin kilometrikunkku oli Satu saldollaan 1200 kilometriä.
Tällä tuloksella ei vielä henkseleitä paukutella, sillä hävisimme roimasti mm. alakerran C&J:lle ( 679,08km/hlö) , SARC:ille (765,33 km/hlö) ja Lahdelma & Mahlamäelle (1702,56 km/hlö). Kuinka tästä eteenpäin? Noh, ensi vuonna väännetään siis kampea entistä ankarammin!

Kyseenalaista toimintaa Meritullinkadulla…

Continue reading