Towards the EU Emission Targets of 2050: Cost-Effective Emission Reduction in Finnish Detached Houses

Janne Hirvonen, Juha Jokisalo, Juhani Heljo, Risto Kosonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
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To mitigate the effects of climate change, the European Union calls for major carbon emission reductions in the building sector through a deep renovation of the existing building stock. This study examines the cost-effective energy retrofit measures in Finnish detached houses. The Finnish detached house building stock was divided into four age classes according to the building code in effect at the time of their construction. Multi-objective optimization with a genetic algorithm was used to minimize the life cycle cost and CO2 emissions in each building type for five different main heating systems (district heating, wood/oil boiler, direct electric heating, and ground-source heat pump) by improving the building envelope and systems. Cost-effective emission reductions were possible with all heating systems, but especially with ground-source heat pumps. Replacing oil boilers with ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs), emissions could be reduced by 79% to 92% across all the studied detached houses and investment levels. With all the other heating systems, emission reductions of 20% to 75% were possible. The most cost-effective individual renovation measures were the installation of air-to-air heat pumps for auxiliary heating and improving the thermal insulation of external walls.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4395
Number of pages29
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • deep renovation
  • energy retrofit
  • detached house
  • multi-objective optimization
  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • heat pump
  • genetic algorithm


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