On February 28, 2013, Swegon Air Academy held a seminar in a beautiful city of St. Petersburg in Russia with the topic of practical experiences with energy renovation in multi-residential buildings. Our lecturers were Åsa Wahlström from CIT Energy Management, Sweden, and Dusan Petras from the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Slovakia. This article is series of articles describing building situation in Russia and presentations on experiences with renovation of residential buildings in Sweden and Slovakia presented by Åsa Wahlström and Dusan Petras.
Saint Petersburg is a major European cultural centre, and also an important Russian port on the Baltic Sea. Saint Petersburg is the second largest city with population of 5 mil people. There are 4 basic building types in St. Petersburg; pre-revolutionary, Stalin era, residential region buildings (built in the sixties and seventies) and newly constructed buildings. Pre-revolutionary buildings really capture the spirit of Saint Petersburg and their origin dates from the mid of 18th century to the early 20th century. The majority of these buildings in city centre have apartments with ceiling height of 3-4.5 m. Buildings from Stalin era are located mostly outside city centre and are constructed from between the late 1930s and the late 1950s. The apartments have ceiling with height of 3 m and are solidly constructed. Residential region buildings are the mass constructed apartment buildings outside Saint Petersburg from large concrete blocks. These buildings were predominantly built from 1960s to 1990s. The newly constructed buildings are usually located throughout the city and have extra features as glazed façades and Western design.
The three previously mentioned residential building usually use natural ventilation, and sometimes in a combination with exhaust mechanical ventilation in kitchen/bathroom. The newly built buildings are usually equipped with fully mechanical supply and exhaust ventilation system. The current Russian law determines that 1 person needs 18 m2 of flat area and the air change for supply air flow is 30 m3/h in bedroom, living room and other dwelling area. The extract air flow is 3 m3/h.m2 of dwelling area, i.e. typically 60 m3/h in kitchen, 25 m3/h in bathroom and WC.
Although Saint Petersburg still has a place to build new apartment buildings, the focus on existing residential buildings still needs to be action. All existing residential apartments have potential to have the indoor climate improved by installation of mechanical supply and exhaust ventilation. There needs to be flexibility in the system and open ductwork, and in some apartment the mechanical system is exposed as a feature. One example is the ceiling heat recovery unit located in middle of the apartment which has to have low noise level and all ducting in an apartment.
The potential in renovation in residential buildings lays in close collaboration between consultants, installers, contractors and end-users. The design process needs to focus on confidence and simplicity of installation with adjustments of system. The major attention has to be on low noise equipment and delivering of high air volumes in low air speed to the spaces, whilst not creating drafts. Currently the Russian tactic is to put the focus on explaining the fact that the price is not only the price for ventilation equipment but also the cost of operation and cost of energy; and these costs are more significant during life cycle than initial cost of equipment.