Business from Sustainability: Drivers for Energy Efficient Housing

Minna Halme, Jyri Nieminen, Esa Nykänen, Leena Sarvaranta, Antti Savonen

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    Why is the market interest in energy efficient houses still low? Is it because consumers do not want to pay a higher initial investment cost? Are consumers interested or aware of energy related issues? Are the constructors unwilling to push these products to the market in a situation where price seems to be the only source of competitive advantage? In the last 15-20 years, a number of projects have been carried out aiming at energy-efficient and environmentally friendly housing. There is a wide range of technologies and concepts that have been tested in monitoring projects. Technological possibilities to reduce a building's energy consumption have been available for a long time. Also, the costs of energy efficiency have been proved to be almost negligible. Despite the existing vast amount of information, no clear market change has happened. The scope of a low-energy building is to achieve comfortable, healthy and safe indoor climate. The construction is based on simple and well performing materials, structures and building services systems that fulfil the requirements set for the building. Energy efficient housing would offer many individual level benefits, and in order to assess them one should have a long-term perspective. As heating accounts for a majority of the life cycle costs of a house, energy efficiency means substantial cost savings. However, up to now most homebuilders are not focused on energy efficiency. There is not a single barrier that keeps energy-efficient housing from taking off. A whole range of issues has to be considered. Commercialisation of energy efficient single-family houses comes close to the problems of commercialising any environmentally sustainable product. They come in conflict with the current industry structures, organisations and institutions and with the general behaviour of different, related actors. In this situation, special measures are needed to promote commercialisation. The transition to sustainability needs to be managed. Earlier research findings on energy efficient building, conducted by VTT, are now complemented by this study. We have identified major trends paving the way towards business from sustainability. Our focus was on three strategic issues:1. Demand and supply of niche products, i.e. energy efficient single-family houses; 2. Drivers for business potential and opportunities; 3. Management of transition to environmentally sustainable business.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages68
    ISBN (Electronic)951-38-6742-0
    ISBN (Print)951-38-6741-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2005
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes


    • single family houses
    • energy efficiency
    • energy consumption
    • energy conservation
    • environmentally sustainable business
    • eco-efficient construction
    • regional construction
    • strategic niche management
    • life-cycle costs
    • business opportunities


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