Residents of Postipuisto save energy

The new Heka site in Pohjois-Pasila will recover heat even from sewage.

Written by Petja Partanen Photos by Sami Heiskanen

With only a month to go before the tenants move in, Heka’s new housing location, Kustinpolku 7, is under heavy scrutiny. The contractor, NCC, is adding the finishing touches and adjusting the ventilation system. In the meanwhile, the City of Helsinki’s inspectors are touring the building to see that everything is built according to specifications.

Kitchen of one of the apartments.
The new electrical appliances in the homes consume little energy.

“The aim is to offer the tenants a flawless building,” says project manager Matti Boeschoten from the City of Helsinki’s housing production department.

Boeschoten likes what he sees. The future tenants will have a lot of everyday luxuries.

“I especially like the exquisite and spacious sauna facilities with great views.”

Suprising energy solution

The price increase of electricity and district heating is a current topic, but the development will only have a moderate impact on Kustinpolku. The brand new electrical equipment in the homes consume little energy, and solar panels mounted on the roof of the building produce part of the electricity needed for the property. Solar panels are common at new Heka sites, but Kustinpolku also uses a slightly more exotic energy solution: heat recovery from sewage.

“It recovers surplus heat from shower water, for example,” Boeschoten says.

The tenants at the location will receive real-time information about the building’s energy consumption daily.

“The lobbies have screens that show the building’s water and electricity consumption and the amount of energy produced by the solar panels,” Boeschoten says.

The solar panels on the roof
The solar panels on the roof produce some of the electricity consumed by the building.

The energy efficiency of new Heka locations clearly exceeds the minimum requirements in building regulations. The energy certificate for Kustinpolku also boasts the A class, the best energy class available. Similarly, the RTS environmental certification that is being sought for the Heka buildings in Postipuisto shows that a building fulfils the high criteria: the building materials are eco-friendly, the construction has been carried out free from moisture, and the ventilation system is particularly effective. For tenants, this translated to good living conditions.

Under construction: A residential area of 5,000 inhabitants is under construction

At this point, the Postipuisto area is still a large construction site, but some services are already available.

The grocery shop Alepa opened a year ago, and recently a daycare centre started operating out of a temporary pavilion. The construction of a permanent daycare centre will start next year, followed by a school building.

Of the four commercial premises on the street level on Kustinpolku street, one is equipped for restaurant use. By the street, there will be a community house for all Postipuisto residents, which will include a café, a gym and various facilities for parties, sports and workshops.

Kustinpolku 7 in Postipuisto.
At this point, the Postipuisto area is still a large construction site, but some services are already available.

The next Heka location in Postipuisto is already being built at Postiljooninkatu 2, under the supervision of Boeschoten.

“This will be a slightly larger building with over 150 homes. The building will be ready in December 2023.”

Around 2030, the Postipuisto area with 5,000 inhabitants will be close to ready, but construction in the area will continue. Päivi Ahlroos, the project director for the Pohjois-Pasila area, says that the City of Helsinki is planning a whole linear city of Pohjois-Pasila between the Ilmala and Käpylä stations. In the future, the stations will be connected by a pedestrian street of two kilometres. Postiljooninkatu street next to Kustinpolku street includes a space reservation for a tramline.

Kustinpolku 7

  • The building was completed on 23 September 2022.
  • An apartment building in four sections with 5–7 floors. The same block also includes Postiljooni, a right-of-occupancy building owned by the City of Helsinki. This building shares a yard with Kustinpolku 7.
  • Brick facade; a glazed balcony or a balconette in each apartment.
  • 44 parking spaces in the carpark in the next block. Visitor and customer parking with a time limit on the street. 193 bicycle parking spaces.
  • Shared facilities: hallways, club room, laundry room, storage for prams, outdoor sports equipment and other goods. Of the three saunas in the property, two are located on the 7th floor and one on the ground floor.

Total number of apartments: 111

  • room + kitchent (29–39 m² ): 34 pcs
  • rooms + kitchen(42,5–48,5 m²): 32 pcs
  • rooms + kitchen (63–77,5 m²): 33 pcs
  • 4 rooms + kitchen (91 m²): 6 pcs
  • 5 rooms + kitchen (95,5 m²): 6 pcs