EcoBalance model for assessing sustainability in residential areas and relevant case studies in Finland

Irmeli Harmaajärvi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The EcoBalance Model was developed at VTT, the Technical Research Center of Finland, in the early 1990s, and it has been used in several case studies in Finland. The model estimates the total consumption of energy and other natural resources, the production of emissions and wastes, and the costs caused directly and indirectly by residential areas and urban structures on a life-cycle basis. The results of the case studies give information about the ecological impacts of different solutions in urban development. The case study introduced in this article indicates that eco-villages are not necessarily very sound from an ecological point of view. On average, eco-villages require more energy and raw materials, they produce more emissions, and they cost more than urban small-house areas. The EcoBalance model can be used when planning new areas or developing new urban structures, constructing buildings and infrastructure, as well as developing sustainable life styles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-380
JournalEnvironmental Impact Assessment Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed



  • ecobalance model
  • sustainability in residential areas
  • finland

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