The three current trends in housing – community, responsibility and ease of everyday life – are reasons why people are now choosing rental housing. Rental housing is no longer just a mandatory or intermediate step on the way to owner-occupied housing but rather an informed lifestyle choice.
A person living in a rental apartment does not have to be alone in their pursuit of a smaller carbon footprint. A responsible lessor makes it as easy as possible for residents to lead a sustainable everyday life and take sustainability action.
Saana Tuomi has chosen to live in a Lumo home. What most fascinates her about rental housing is the fact that sustainable choices have been made easy to make and in many different ways.
When Saana's son moved out to live on his own, Saana no longer needed three rooms just for herself. She stumbled across an advert for Lumo homes on Facebook.
“I learned more about my new home online and immediately made the decision to move in and paid the booking fee in the Lumo webstore,” Saana describes her life’s big independent decision.
“The ease of the online application process was nice: I didn't need to compete with anyone.”– Saana
“I used to simply think that Lumo was expensive, but now I know that you really get your money’s worth!”
In her brand-new home, what most impressed Saana was the kitchen.
“The kitchen is classier than what you would normally get in a rental apartment. I like the integrated stove in particular.”
The quality of construction immediately caught Saana’s eye. “This apartment has even heat conditions and very good sound insulation. There is no draught, and the sounds of the adjacent construction site do not enter the apartment.”
Something new and something old
The tenth floor balcony is very high up. From the glazed large balcony, you can see the shopping centre Sello on the other side of Ring I. The people on the busy streets below look so small from up high.
“When I moved here, I first had to slowly get used to the views due to my fear of heights,” admits Saana.
Nowadays, Saana is no longer scared to look down through the opening in her balcony window into the courtyard, where there is a brand-new barbecue area with sun loungers.
“The courtyard looks really nice. In the summer, I'm going to at least try out the sun loungers.”
”Eron edellisiin vuokrakoteihin huomaan myös palvelualttiudesta. Lumo-kotien isännöitsijä vastaa sähköposteihin samana päivänä.”– Saana
Saana was already familiar with the Vermo area beforehand, having lived in Pitäjänmäki as a child.
“The best thing about this area is the proximity to the sea. It’s a short walk to Tarvaspää to the Gallen-Kallela Museum and the café.”
The proximity of the Vermo horse-racing course is evident in the fact that you may see horses with their instructors race past you on their training run.
“While I was thinking about where to move, one of my criteria was that the new home should be located in HSL's AB zone – and this fitted the bill.”
Vermonniitty has good accessibility in all directions both by bus and train.
In housing, attention is increasingly being paid to sustainable energy solutions.
“Locally produced energy, such as geothermal heat and solar power, will become standards in housing,” predicts Future Living Specialist Kimmo Rönkä.
Did you know?
Reducing the indoor temperature by a degree reduces heating energy consumption by five per cent.
Local food production will also increase. The trend started with salad pots on the balcony and cultivation trays in the courtyard.
“The next step is to try grow potatoes in the courtyard of the apartment building,” says Kimmo.
We have not yet reached true and complete self-suffiency, but we are headed in that direction. Kimmo sees that new cultivation methods will likely link food production to properties. For example, hydroponic cultivation, i.e. cultivation without soil, can be done anywhere.
“It may sound like science fiction, but perhaps in the future we will have cultivation rooms where food is professionally grown for the whole building,” says Kimmo.
When you choose a responsible rental company, you also choose its ecological values and climate targets.
Experts take sustainable development into account in the design of properties and apartments, creating the conditions for sustainable living in the everyday life of residents. This means life-cycle thinking and meaningful service and space planning, among other things.
Planning housing for the future requires courage and innovativeness.
Smarter heating solutions
You can already greatly influence your carbon footprint when choosing an apartment and area to live in,” says Emma Hietaniemi, Sustainable Everyday Life Specialist at Sitra.
Emma would like to draw attention to four aspects in particular. Does the heating system of the apartment use renewable zero-emission energy sources? And what is the energy efficiency classification of the building?
Thirdly, it is worth paying attention to the location of the apartment, which affects the emissions from transport. And lastly, you should consider whether the apartment is the right size for your needs.
“Of course, it's not worth heating up space that you don’t use. Instead, we should try to choose an apartment that has just enough room to make everyday life smooth,” says Emma.
The carbon footprint of a Finn
The carbon footprint of an average Finn: 10,300 kg/CO2e/person/year.
Its composition is as follows:
29% transport and tourism
As Finland is a cold country, heating makes up approximately a third of the energy consumption of housing.
“An easy way to calculate your own energy consumption is to lower your indoor temperature by a degree. It reduces the consumption of heating energy by 5 per cent.”
However, in the cold and dark, there is no sense in freezing over energy savings.
“In everyday life, there are small smart actions that everyone can do while also keeping in mind solutions that affect the big picture.”
A home to last a lifetime
Saana has decorated her home very beautifully. White and the colours of spring flowers alternate in a stylish fashion. There are cut flower arrangements on multiple tables and shelves.
“I often buy flowers and make my own arrangements,” says Saana.
Living nature and its future are important to Saana. One of the reasons why she chose to live in a Lumo home was sustainability. She has learned that Lumo develops low-carbon buildings that have long life spans and are efficient both in terms of materials and energy. That is a good thing because Saana is here to stay.
“I think I’ll be happy to live here for a long time, maybe even my whole life,” says Saana.
She describes her own everyday sustainability actions:
“I buy my eggs directly from the producer and try to choose Finnish products in general. For cleaning, I use domestic, ecological cleaning soap,” says Saana.
“I sort my waste, and when I buy something, I try to think about whether I really want or need it.”
For Saana, sustainability is also responsibility over ensuring that everyone can be comfortable – greeting your neighbours and helping them when they need help and asking for help when you need it.
Do you want your everyday life at home to be as smooth and effortless as possible? Read our article on the ease of everyday life
Would you like to experience the joy of community living and enjoy the neighbourhood spirit? Read our article on community
Lumo homes takes responsibility for the big picture so that the residents don't have to. However, residents are more than welcome to participate in the climate efforts: everyone's consumption of electricity and water has a big impact.
Since May, residents have been able to test the size of their own carbon footprint relative to the carbon footprint of the average Finn using the Lumo home carbon footprint test.
“The test also provides tips on how to reduce your own footprint by making your consumption habits and diet more sustainable,” says Turri.
As a another new thing, residents can compensate for the carbon footprint of their heating.
At Lumo homes, sustainability actions and choices have been made easy for residents. Lumo residents can take advantage of services related to sustainability, such as shared cars and bikes and an increasing number of charging points for electric cars as well.
The goal of Lumo homes is to be a carbon-neutral operator with regard to the energy consumption of its properties by 2030. In 2020, Lumo homes’ carbon footprint per apartment was 1.4 tonnes CO2e, compared to 1.2 tonnes CO2e a year later. The decrease was almost 20 per cent.
“We want this inspiring development to continue,” says Turri.
There are already approximately 37,000 Lumo homes. It is a great responsibility, but so are the opportunities to make a difference.
“We have a real opportunity to reduce our environmental impact through our own measures and by encouraging residents to make more sustainable choices,” says Turri.
“Some Lumo buildings are already heated using renewable zero-emission energy sources, and there will be more buildings like that,” says Turri.
Property electricity used in common spaces is already completely carbon-neutral, and artificial intelligence helps to optimise the temperature control of apartments according to the weather.
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