Lippulaiva – The sustainable centre of Espoonlahti

 In Espoonlahti, Finland, the construction of the mixed-use project of Lippulaiva progressed during 2019. The new Lippulaiva will replace its predecessor, doubling in size and becoming a flagship of energy self-sufficiency and local energy production. The demolition of the old Lippulaiva shopping centre and the construction work of the pop-up shopping centre Pikkulaiva were completed in 2017. The temporary pop-up shopping centre will serve the residents of the Espoonlahti area throughout the construction period, until the new shopping centre is completed.

The new Lippulaiva will open in spring 2022. The leasable area of Lippulaiva will be 44,000 square metres and it will house approximately 80 retailers and services. The shopping centre will be visited annually by an estimated eight million customers.

Eight residential blocks, housing 450-500 new apartments, will be built in the immediate vicinity of Lippulaiva. Estimated, staged completion of these residential units is between 2022 and 2024.

Lippulaiva will also function as a key public transport hub. A station of the second phase of the western metro extension and a feeder bus terminal will be located under the shopping centre. An estimated 14,000 passengers will use the Espoonlahti metro station daily. In addition to the excellent public transport links, there will be approximately 250 charging stations for electrical vehicles, commuter car parking and parking for approximately 1,300 bicycles at the shopping centre.

Nearly Zero Energy Building with heating and cooling from carbon-free geothermal energy

The largest geothermal heating and cooling energy plant in Europe for a commercial building is being built under Lippulaiva. Beneath the shopping centre, 170 wells extending to a depth of approximately 300 metres have been drilled. The energy plant is built and operated by Adven, a leading provider of energy services in the Nordics, and will generate carbon-free energy to meet the shopping centre’s heating and cooling needs. The large amount of renewable energy produced at the centre, combined with a low energy consumption, means that Lippulaiva will qualify as a Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB).

“The drilling revealed that the bedrock is of better quality than the preliminary simulations estimated. The energy generated by the facility will meet all the shopping centre’s needs and possibly some of those of the planned residential units nearby,” Timo Koljonen, Vice President Geoenergy at Adven, says.

The geothermal solution also has additional benefits as it removes the need to place condensers on the roof of the shopping centre. Instead, the roof can be used for landscaping in the form of green roofs and house solar panels. The shopping centre will have more than 3,500 square metres  of green roof and solar panels covering approximately 2,500 m2 with an estimated annual production of 215 MWh.

The shopping centre will be environmentally certified according to the LEED standard with the target certification level of LEED Gold.

Part of a European-wide project aiming to pave the way for carbon neutral urban communities

The overall objective of SPARCS is to achieve citizens’ inclusive carbon free urban community by integrating the following key factors: Technologies for energy positivity in buildings and districts, citizen engagement, city planning and governance, flexible grid management and energy storage, and e-mobility as an energy system element. SPARCS targets to create the ecosystems necessary for the urban energy transformation in cities towards a citizens-inclusive Sustainable energy Positive & zero CARbon CommunitieS. The cornerstones of SPARCS are two lighthouse cities: Espoo in Finland and Leipzig in Germany, and five fellow cities: Reykjavik in Iceland, Maia in Portugal, Lviv in Ukraine, Kifissia in Greece and Kladno in Czech Republic. Lighthouse cities aim to prove that the urban energy transformation of a city into a carbon neutral urban community is socially and economically viable. The project has over 30 partners ranging from cities to research centres and public companies.

The Espoonlahti area and Lippulaiva make up one demonstration block in Espoo. The main objectives of the district demonstrations include integrated renewable energy solutions for Energy Positive Blocks, using a combination of geothermal and waste heat solutions, rooftop solar power, heat and electricity trade strategies, e-mobility activities and optimisation, and citizen engagement actions.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 864242.

Read More on Citycon and Sustainability