Energy-efficiency experts Enerz Oy reduce the carbon footprint of buildings with help from MagiCAD


MagiCAD Group

MEP Design

Energy-efficiency is a key part of any new building project as a result of increased requirements. Simultaneously, the energy use of our existing buildings is also being re-evaluated.

One of the forerunners in the field of energy-efficiency is the Finnish company Enerz Oy, founded in 2018. The company is convinced that a continuous focus on energy-efficiency will be commonplace in the building industry going forward. Enerz currently operates in Finland and the Baltic countries with plans to enter the Swedish market in the near future.

We discussed with the company’s CEO and co-founder Rene Zidbeck and Design Manager Toni Myllyniemi on energy-efficiency, their extensive project in Finland’s biggest shopping center Ideapark, and on how MagiCAD helps them design for efficiency.

Enerz – Comprehensive services for energy-efficiency projects

Enerz approaches energy-efficiency as a multi-faceted concept that combines system design, building automation and project management. Together, these elements form the key equation for their energy-efficiency projects.

Our business has developed around the concept of energy-efficiency. We started out to create a unique service that combines system design, building automation, and project management. Many companies are focused on just the design phase or on programming building automation systems, but we believe succesful energy-efficiency projects are a combination of all of these aspects,” says Rene.

To prove their point, Enerz offers a complete range of energy-efficiency services all the way from system design and programming to installation and monitoring.

Energy-efficiency is a continuous process

Improving a building’s energy-efficiency is not a single action, but instead, a continuous process that begins long before any of the actual systems are installed.

When the design work is started, you should already consider how the systems will be controlled and make sure that they are correctly sized,” explains Design Manager Toni Myllyniemi, and continues: ”In many of our projects the systems have been oversized and their controls have essentially been limited to switching the system on and off. Accounting for the requirements of demand controlled systems already during the design phase can produce considerable energy-savings.

Building automation is a key part of optimizing energy use in existing buildings and the biggest savings are often achieved through the introduction of intelligent system operations. ”We have managed to cut energy-use by over 50% in some of our projects simply by installing intelligent sensors and then programming the building services to run based on demand. This ensures that there is no excessive air-conditioning, heating, or cooling,” says Toni.

For his part, Rene emphasizes the importance of monitoring throughout the building’s life-cycle. ”It’s important to set clear targets for a building’s energy consumption and then evaluate how they are maintained. In order to enable this, the systems need to be designed and built so that their performance can be easily monitored,” adds Rene.

Energy-efficiency also goes hand in hand with cost-efficiency, as energy savings often equal cost savings. This provides an additional incentive for building owners to invest in energy-efficiency. ”It is smart to consider financial aspects during design work. When sizing building systems during the design phase, it is also possible to optimize costs,” explains Toni.

Despite their complexity, evaluating the success of an energy-efficiency project is surprisingly simple. ”In a succesful energy-efficiency project the quality of the indoor environment for building occupants remains excellent and energy-savings goals are realised,” summarises Rene.

Ideapark shopping center takes a concrete step towards a sustainable future

Enerz is currently conducting a large energy-efficiency project in Finland’s largest shopping center, Ideapark. The ambitious goal for the project is to reduce the shopping center’s municipal heating use by 50%.

Ideapark, situated in Lempäälä, Finland.

During the project, existing chillers will be replaced with modern air-to-water heat pumps and air handling units will be equipped with duct coils for cooling. ”A heat pump system allows us to produce heating energy with much better efficiency for most of the heating season, excluding, perhaps, the very coldest winter days,” tells Toni.

Similarly to other optimization projects, building automation is a key part of the Ideapark project. ”Heating energy use in the shopping center will be reduced considerably with the implementation of an intelligent demand-controlled system. This requires us to install new sensors throughout the shopping center,” says Toni.

The importance of maintaining up-to-date BIM models is often realised when optimizing existing systems. In the Ideapark project, Enerz benefited greatly from access to up-to-date and compatible models. ”We were able to consult the original model for the shopping center and this helped reduce the amount of work required considerably. If we added new pipe systems and routes, it was easy to coordinate and size them with existing systems,” comments Toni.

Visit the Ideapark project with the video below (in Finnish):

Designing for efficiency with MagiCAD

Enerz have used MagiCAD for AutoCAD in many of their design and optimization projects. Consequently, they have formed a clear understanding of the key functions in the software for their own work and for energy-efficiency in general.

The best thing about MagiCAD is probably the continuous development and overall versatility of the software. A key benefit for us are the efficient functions for system sizing. They make it easy to optimize systems and, when used together with the integrated calculations, they help us avoid mistakes,” says Toni. ”Our work requires a design software with good tools for schematic diagrams, 3D modelling, and sizing and MagiCAD has supported our work in the best possible way,” continues Rene.

In addition to the capabilities of the software, Toni also highlights the quality of the technical support they have received. ”If we have ever needed assistance, the issue has always been resolved quickly. We have often even been informed of the upcoming version in which a needed feature will be added to the software and have been provided with an alternative solution in the meantime,” tells Toni.

Additionally, both Toni and Rene identify the Bill of Materials as an overlooked function that has great potential to improve project transparency and bidding processes in general. ”Creating a project bid based on paper plans is an extremely time-consuming and heavy process. Creating material lists with the Bill of Materials improves the bidding process for everyone involved, including the contractors and the product suppliers,” says Rene.

The function also serves as a good example of how Enerz is trying to do their part in promoting good methods for the benefit of everyone involved in a project. ”We want to do our part in advancing good practices in the industry. In the end, quality projects require shared responsibility and professional pride,” summarises Toni.