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Smarter and more efficient renovation

Smart Elements for Renovation Leap

Construction and renovation industries are being reshaped by Smart Elements for Renovation Leap -change project. Prefabricated elements can be used to shorten the length of renovation, reduce costs and make properties smarter and more energy efficient than before. Integrated and modular concepts can be applied to i.e. pipe and facade repairs in order to make renovations more efficient.

Smart Elements for Renovation Leap -project aims to create fast, repeatable and integrated renovation solutions which take buildings’ life cycle into account better than has been done ever before. Businesses that are complementing each other’s functions are creating ecosystems that develop and test fast and affordable renovation concepts together with public operators. Concepts utilizing prefabrication and -planning are tested in real apartment buildings in need of renovation.

The cities of Helsinki metropolitan area offer appropriate local projects as renovation pilots. At the same time, it creates new purchasing and funding models, improved opportunities for smart energy solutions as well as smarter housing and buildings. The renovation concepts and action models can be used in other buildings than apartment blocks as well.

The attainment of the effectiveness goals will be researched and tested with varying methods during the process. This enables the spreading of information on best functioning concepts. Best concepts can be scaled and replicated in the renovation markets.

The renovation debt of buildings in Finland is estimated at 30-50 billion euros which corresponds up to one tenth of the total value. Expediting and rationalising the renovation of cities’ apartment buildings makes maintaining and increasing the value of residential areas considerably easier.

Smart Elements for Renovation Leap -project is Smart & Clean change project that is consistent with the Helsinki Metropolitan Region growth agreement. It is funded by the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council and their AIKO-funding for starting regional innovations and experiments. Other funders are ARA, City of Helsinki innovation fund and Smart & Clean -foundation.

Project status

Smart Elements for Renovation Leap -change project is starting in May 2018 and its first phase lasts for 12 months. The first phase is focusing on developing the cooperation models for the businesses and creating the renovation concepts.  In order to raise the ambition levels, procurement criteria and -models are developed together with the real estate owners.

First demonstrations of the new renovation concepts are starting during the year 2019 in the properties of Helsingin Asunnot Oy and Lahden Talot Oy. Other appropriate demonstration sites are being mapped during the first phase of the change project.

Market dialogue between cities and businesses was started already in 2017. Also, events to identify companies’ offering and cooperation possibilities have been organised during the autumn 2017.

Project status



Energy efficient renovation is the fastest way to inflict the reduction of emissions in the already existing buildings. Increasing the intelligence in buildings will decrease the carbon footprint and life-cycle effects.

Better quality of life

Renovations become more effective and renovation time shortens remarkably. Even old buildings can be developed into smart property with improved living conditions. The value of housing districts and living comfort increases.

Business potential

Housing renovation market in Finland is over 7 billion euros. Ecosystems formed by companies can offer this market and cities new construction solutions, which reduce the renovation debt.

Why a ground-breaking project

The use of prefabricated elements and modular solutions in large scale renovation projects is still in its infancy. Good reference projects are needed to prove working concepts and cooperation models.


The project leader is VTT. Demonstration sites are being offered by Helsingin kaupungin asunnot Oy (HEKA Oy), SATO Oy and tentatively also Lahden Talot Oy. Companies in the project are Cembrit Oy, Consti Oy, Residentia Oy, Fixel Oy, Fourdeg Oy, Hilti Oy, NCC Oy, KONE Hissit Oy, Paroc Oy, Pilaster Oy, Planest Oy, Ramirent Oy, Salusfin Oy, SG Elementit Oy, Timberframe Oy, Uponor Oy, Vahanen PRO Oy, Valvontakonsultit Oy, Wanderfeel Oy and YIT Oy.,