3-D models help build energy data
The solar energy potential of Helsinki Olympic Stadium revealed by the solar irradiation analysis of Helsinki Energy and Climate Atlas. Photo courtesy of city of Helsinki
As climate experts present an action plan to render Helsinki, Finland, carbon neutral by 2035, the city is using 3-D technology to help determine the energy efficiency of its structures.
The effort is designed to compile all energy-related data on the community’s building stock into a 3D map application labeled Helsinki Energy and Climate Atlas. The mapping can be used for advanced citywide energy analyses and simulations, as well as assessments of specific buildings.
“The 3D atlas can be used by city planners and decision-makers to assess the potential and the available resources for energy efficiency improvements,” said Petteri Huuska, environmental planner for Helsinki Environmental Services and head of the atlas development. “Property owners and managers can use the atlas to assess the property’s energy consumption.”
The program, officials said, helps city leaders inform the public and businesses about climate changes and encourage them to action, such as harnessing solar energy.
Helsinki Energy and Climate Atlas contains real and calculated data on buildings. The data includes completed energy-efficiency upgrades, energy performance classifications and the energy sources used for heating – whether the building uses district heating (90 percent of the city’s heated building stock) or other. The atlas presents an analysis of solar irradiation per building and shows the estimated energy consumption of buildings as calculated by the Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT.
Plans for new information sets to be added to the atlas involve the renewable energy potential of buildings and data that can be used in climate change adaptation. For example, the atlas could be used to simulate flooding caused by heavy rainfall and to design flood control methods.
All data of the atlas is available as open data, in accordance with the Helsinki principle of releasing public data for free use.
Helsinki Energy and Climate Atlas is one of Helsinki’s contributions to the EU-financed mySMARTLife project. The project’s three demonstration cities, including Helsinki, aim to develop smart solutions to cut urban energy use by 10–20 percent and to increase the use of renewable energy.
In September 2017, Helsinki reset the city’s target year for carbon neutrality to 2035, speeding up the achievement of the goal by 15 years from the earlier goal in 2050. An interim goal is to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent from 1990 to 2030.