Webinar: Sustainable growth through green procurement

On the 4th of March 2021 the international webinar “Sustainable growth through green procurement” was successfully arranged on Zoom by the GrAB project partners. The webinar had more than 90 registered participants from Russia, Norway, Finland and Sweden. The webinar was carried out without any technical difficulties, and also had simultaneous translation – which was secured by partners from  Petrozavodsk State University.

  • In all there were 6 presenters covering the first session of the webinar, facilitated by Prof Antti Niemi from University of Oulu. GrAB project manager (Prof. Bjørn R Sørensen from UiT, Norway) started with a brief introduction of the GrAB project. This was followed by dr. Elena Shadrina (Deputy Director, National Research University “High School of Economics” Perm Campus) who gave a talk on Sustainable public procurement: the cases from Russia. Next was Architect, dr. Matti Kuittinen (Senior Specialist, Ministry of the Environment of Finland) with a talk on Low carbon solutions based on traditional arctic construction. Then mr. Pekka Vuorinen (director for Environment and Energy, Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries RT) presented Green procurement needs assessments – could standardization provide helping tools? – which was followed by ms. Babs Stuiver (Sustainability Manager, Sveaskog, Sweden) with a talk on “Certified forest products from a forest owner’s perspective”. The last presenter was dr. Kari Thunshelle (Senior research scientist SINTEF Community, Norway) who gave a speech on Sustainable and marked acceptable advanced prefabricated elements for deep renovation of apartment buildings – Norwegian demo. The webinar presentations were very interesting and gave different perspectives on relevant subject connected to related to green buildings and procurement. 
  • The second part of the webinar was a Q&A session where participants could ask questions to the presenters.
  • The webinar was a great success, and project partners express great thanks to the presenters as well as participants.

Pilot buildings

The construction and erection of pilot buildings (or model objects) have finished, both in Petrozavodsk and Murmansk. The two buildings are identical and each of them consists of two main parts. The first part is constructed with insulated frame based walls, while the second part has walls of double logs insulated in between with wood chips. The buildings are equipped with ventilation system (including heat exchange) and electricity based heating.

During the coming year, these buildings will be subjected to many investigations concerning indoor climate, temperature distribution and moisture transport in the structure and so on. Measurement sensors and devices are already in place, and measurements have recently started.

Below you can see pictures of the buildings. A more extensive picture series of the construction process will be published later.

Pilot building in Petrozavodsk
Pilot building in Murmansk

The model objects are one-story buildings with dimensions in the plan in axes 12.45×5.5 m with a pitched roof with a slight slope. The height of the building along the ridge of the highest part is 4.3 m. The building consists of two square ones, connected by a vestibule. The right and left parts of the building have the same area and the same internal volume, which is necessary for further research and comparison of the two structural wall designs and construction technologies.

For both parts of the building, the structures of the roof, basement and foundations are the same. The foundations are concrete, made from solid concrete blocks. The floor is made of timber, insulated. Its total thickness is 465 mm, including the thickness of the heat-insulating layer – 300 mm.

The roof is gable, insulated. The load-bearing structures of the roof are represented by a system of layered rafter legs supported by longitudinal walls and a ridge girder. Metal shingles were used as roofing material. The total thickness of the roof structure is 450 mm, including the thickness of the insulating layer – 350 mm.

The structures of the outer walls and the technology of their construction are different for the parts of the building. The structures of the walls of the parts of the building are made according to two different technologies: one part according to the timber framing technology, the second – according to the double-stud technology. The total thickness of the wall frame structure is 350 mm. The supporting frame is represented by uprights with a section of 50×200 mm, crossbars of the same section and a system of struts. Along the supporting frame in the horizontal direction there is a frame of a cross layer of insulation 50 mm thick. The total thickness of the insulating layer is 250 mm. Mineral wool insulation “ISOROC Super Warm” was adopted as the main insulation material for the frame wall. During the construction of a building in Petrozavodsk, it was decided to use this insulation for the structures of the lower floor and roof. A similar decision was made for the building in Murmansk. On the outside of the insulation layer, a wind-waterproof layer is provided from the Izospan AM membrane. On the inner side of the heat-insulating layer, a vapor barrier layer was designed from a membrane Izospan V. As the outer finish of the frame part, a sheathing of a planed matchboard with a thickness of 20 mm along a lathing made of a bar with a cross section of 50×50 mm was used. The cladding was treated with an antiseptic compound for outdoor use. The cladding of the inner surfaces of the walls of the frame part, and the filing of the ceilings are made of coniferous plywood, 12mm thick. For the object in Murmansk, the interior decoration of the walls of the frame part, and the filing of the ceilings are provided from the wall panels.

The average thickness of the wall structure made using the double-frame technology is 472 mm. Insulation layer thickness – 126 mm. Chips and sawdust, which are waste in the production of log elements, are taken as the main heat-insulating material. To compensate for the possible settling of the backfill insulation, membranes from a board 25 mm thick are provided in the wall structure. Outside, the log part is treated with Tikkurila Valtti Log, a weather-resistant log antiseptic after mechanical cleaning and polishing. The surfaces of the logs indoors are treated with matt acrylic lacquer Tikkurila Paneeli Assa.

One of the conditions for the comparability of research results in different climatic zones is the identical orientation of the experimental buildings. The blank wall of the building should be oriented to the north, both in the city of Murmansk and in the city of Petrozavodsk. At the same time, the north-facing wall is divided into three zones in each part of the building. A separate type of alternative thermal insulation material is used in each zone. For the frame part of the building, alternative heat-insulating materials are: natural insulation Flaxan Mix (fibrous material made from eelgrass, flax (85%) and lavsan (15%)), ecowool and linen mats. Linen mat is an alternative thermal insulation material for a double-stud wall. The third zone in the wall of a double-stud house is represented by an air gap without additional insulation. The thickness of the insulating layers is calculated in accordance with the climatic conditions of the city of Murmansk. As a result of the design, the overall energy efficiency class of A (very high) for the entire building was achieved.

To carry out research, the experimental buildings are equipped with a set of engineering systems and a system for monitoring temperature and humidity in the layers of enclosing structures. The installation of power supply, heating and ventilation systems was completed in November and December 2020. Each part of the building was provided with a separate set of engineering systems. This is necessary to ensure independent accounting of energy costs for each part of the building and for each system, and subsequent comparison.

As the main heating system for the experimental house, an electric heating system was implemented with convectors located on the walls inside rooms. Eight GLAMOX heaters were used as electric heating devices. The number of electric heating devices and their location were determined according to heat engineering calculations. The total heat load is 8 kW. Electric heating convectors GLAMOX heating H40 WiFi are equipped with a programmable wireless thermostat WT, which allows to remotely regulate the heating to the desired level in the room.

Supply and exhaust ventilation with mechanical induction with recuperation was chosen as the main ventilation system. The building ventilation system was implemented with two independent systems for each part of the building. An independent system is provided for each system, consisting of a system of air ducts, valves and a NOVA-300 air handling unit.

During the construction of the building, the sensors of the monitoring system were installed in the layers of building structures. The monitoring system is represented by the measuring subsystem and the reference subsystem. The reference system is based on Russian-made electronic components certified as a measuring instrument. The measuring system is based on Chinese-made electronic components. The building provides 25 measurement nodes in key areas of the enclosing structures (in the walls – near window openings, at different height levels, in zones with various insulation materials; in the floor; in the roof structure). Each node consists of 8 or 9 sensors, depending on the design, which are located at the boundaries of the layers.

Good progress of construction works

Construction of the model buildings in Petrozavodsk and Murmansk is now on-going. In Murmansk, the work has just started, and is expected to finish before the end of 2020. In Petrozavodsk, erection of the building envelope has already finished. The building is constructed with two main parts; (1) Log-house part, and (2) Wooden frame part. The walls have different types of insulation, and are instrumented with temperature and humidity sensors, placed inside and on surfaces of the elements.

Delay in construction works

Due to the current corona situation, some tasks/works in KO1089 GrAB are delayed. In particular, the erection of our demonstration buildings in Russia is affected (work package 3). They were supposed to be finished by September, but we now see that this will not be possible. Hence, we are changing the time line for the construction works to November 2020.

Minisymposium on Green Construction in Barents Region

On 26th of February, University of Oulu hosted a minisymposium on Green Buildings, and green construction in the Barents region.. The seminar was open to all interested, and was held at Lapland Hotels in Oulu. About 50 participants were attending the symposium, and there were presenters from Finland, Sweden, Russia and Norway. Professor Eva Pongracz from University of Oulu gave a keynote speech on sustainable development of northern cities. This very interesting talk was followed by 14 very interesting presentations, with topics on urban development, indoor climate, renewable energy, energy efficiency, green materials and more. Senior Lecturer Antti Niemi and docent Esa Muurinen from University of Oulu was chairing the symposium.

Kolarctic CBC projects get together

Kolarctic CBC projects get together was held in Luleå during 28th and 29th of November 2019. 23 different projects were represented and gave their brief presentations. GrAB was represented at the conference by project manager Bjørn R Sørensen (UiT) and Anastasiia Ioffe (Petrozavodsk State University). Sharing of experiences from project implementation was a key topic of the conference. In addition, important topics such as communication, monitoring and evaluation were on the agenda.

Green Construction in the Arctic Region (Green Arctic Building – GrAB)

The project meeting on the implementation of the KO 1089 project “Green Construction in the Arctic Region” (Green Arctic Building – GrAB) was held at Petrozavodsk State University during 25th of September 2019.

Members of the international consortium, representatives of partner universities: UiT The Arctic University of Norway (Norway), University of Oulu (Finland), Murmansk State Technical University and Petrozavodsk State University attended the meeting

The Norwegian project partners were represented by Svein-Erik Sveen, Associate Professor (UiT) and Eigil Roaldset (UiT), representing the Norwegian partner project. Finnish project partners were represented by Senior Researcher Antti H. Niemi and Lecturer Hannu Lahtinen of the University of Oulu.

Murmansk State Technical University, Department of Construction, Heat and Power Engineering and Transport was represented by Svetlana Buryachenko and Yana Karachentseva. Petrozavodsk State University was represented by the staff of the Department of Technology and Organization of Construction Alexander Kuzmenkov and Zakhar Voronin.

The director of Energy Efficient House Building LLC, a partner organization of the project, Artem Derbenev was an invited guest of the meeting.The round table was moderated by Alexander Kuzmenkov, project manager of the KO 1089 project from PetrSU. The current implementation of the project, a strategy for its further development (discussion of the main technical issues, discussion of digging works, terms of exchange of technical and scientific information) in 2019-2020 were discussed at the meeting.

Conference “Wooden low-rise housing construction: economics, architecture and resource-saving technologies”

The international scientific-practical conference “Wooden low-rise housing construction: economics, architecture and resource-saving technologies” was held in Petrozavodsk (September 23 to 25)


More than 50 participants from Petrozavodsk (Petrozavodsk State University), Murmansk (Murmansk State Technical University), Finland (University of Oulu) and Norway (UIT The Arctic University of Norway) took part in the conference.

The scientific event was devoted to the discussion of various aspects of the construction of low-rise wooden buildings, the materials used, the improvement of adjacent territories, as well as the issues of resource conservation in construction and related fields.

The conference was held as part of the international project KO 1089 “Green Construction in the Arctic Region” (Green Arctic Building – GrAB). The project is implemented under the Kolarctic CBC Cross-Border Cooperation Program. The conference was moderated by Associate Professor of the Department of Technology and Organization of Construction, ILGiSN PetrSU, project manager KO 1089 Alexander Kuzmenkov.

Representatives of the University of Oulu (Finland), UiT The Arctic University of Norway, (Norway), Saint-Gobain Building Products Rus, the KAMI Stove Center, Energy Efficient House Building, as well as teachers, graduate students and students of Petrozavodsk State University presented their reports at the conference.

Lecturers of the Department of Construction, Heat Power Engineering and Transport of the Institute of Arctic Technologies of MSTU and lecturers of the Department of Technology and Organization of Construction of the Institute of Forest, Mining and Construction Sciences of PetrSU took part in the discussion.

The organizing committee of the conference expresses gratitude to the participants of the conference for the presented reports and wishes them further success in research work. 


Arctic cooperation conference 2019

During 17th and 18th of September, the Arctic cooperation conference was held in Copenhagen. The conference aimed to outline the work and fruitful cooperation being done within and between the 5 regional European programs Kolarctic CBC, Karelia CBC, Interreg Nord, Botnia-Atlantica and Northern Periphery and Arctic programme.

GrAB was represented at the conference by  project manager from UiT, prof. Bjørn R Sørensen. He also had a presentation in the conference about the project. The presentation can be found here: GRAB-20190918 Kolartic.pdf

A video from the conference can be found here: