KOO3 – Why it’s more climate-wise to renovate old than to build new

KOO3 on Kansakoulukatu 3 has undergone a comprehensive renovation over the past two years by CapMan Real Estate. The building now meets modern office standards both visually and technically while respecting its history. As a result of the renovation, the buildings primary energy demand reduced nearly 20 %.


KOO3 on Kansakoulukatu 3 has undergone a comprehensive renovation over the past two years. The building now meets modern office standards both visually and technically while respecting its history.

Modern life to culturally and historically valuable building

CapMan acquired Kansakoulukatu 3 in September 2018 from the City of Helsinki and started the refurbishment project in October 2020 to transform an old city authority department to a modern office building and a vibrant innovation center. The building’s façade and roof are protected due to their cultural and historical value. Maintaining the spirit and history of the building has been the focal point also for the refurbishment and new interior look and feel. The gilded round reliefs above the façade windows made by sculptor Gunnar Finne remind occupants and passers-by of the interesting history. The reliefs can be found in the renovated house logo and new elevators.

Extending the life cycle equals smaller carbon footprint compared to new construction

The comprehensive renovation included modernising the building service technology, including HVAC system with heat recovery, plumbing system, electricity system, lighting, attic spaces, and all other interior spaces. The renovations resulted in improved energy efficiency and lower carbon footprint: primary energy demand was reduced by nearly 20 % from 165 kWh/m2/y to 135 kWh/m2/y.

The carbon footprint (LCA) for the major renovation is 18 % lower compared to a scenario where the building would have been demolished and a new A energy class building would have been constructed. The difference is mainly due to high amount of carbon related to the construction materials of a new building.


The renovation of an old building also extends the life cycle of the building. CapMan Real Estate has also considered the versatile use of space by designing the HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems to enable different room divisions without heavy technical reconfigurations.

In pursuit of LEED Gold certification

Kansakoulukatu 3 is pursuing LEED Gold certification, which can be seen in the property in many ways. For example, bicycle racks and shared shower facilities promote sustainable commuting and encourage physical activity of the tenants. Energy simulation and LED lighting decreased the energy consumption. Electric car charging stations and proximity to public transportation promote the transition to greener transportation. Replacing old fixtures with water saving ones  has reduced water consumption. A waste management plan, many recycling options and recycling of construction waste have and will improve the waste utilization rate.

A Green oasis with shared pool and liveable spaces for a modern community

The well-being of the tenants has been a focus throughout the renovation. The courtyard will serve as a serene oasis for tenants complete with greenery, a deck and a jacuzzi. Sauna and shower facilities are also available for tenants.

Our tenant Innovation Home manages the lobby and offers the tenants a variety of services such as meeting rooms, event space, catering, cleaning and handyman services, and much more. The Innovation Home coworking community, including an innovation tour, is located on the ground floor and in the basement offering even more services and activities for tenants and guests. Almost all tenants have joined the Innovation Home community.

Modern, sustainable and inclusive offices in the urban heart of Helsinki

KOO3 is a vibrant innovation center and office concept that meets the requirements of innovative and contemporary companies. KOO3 is fully leased before the renovation is completed. The first tenants moved into their new offices in April 2022 and the reception has been enthusiastic.

1) Ramboll conducted a whole life carbon assessment study using the latest methodology (Finnish Ministry of the Environment, Method for the whole life carbon assessment of buildings, 2021), applying the method allowed additional calculation path with market-based district heating (Helen) and its assumed decarbonization pathway. The calculation compared the renovated building Kansakoulukatu 3 to an average newly built office building with energy class A. Assessed life cycle period was 50 years.

About KOO3

Kansakoulukatu 3 was built in 1931 by the City of Helsinki to accommodate the General and Girls’ Vocation School and the Printing School. In 1980’s the building was converted temporarily to an art museum while Ateneum was refurbished. The building was then converted into office space for the city authorities. In 2022, the building has been given new life while extending the life cycle by another 50 years.

  • 7,000 m2
  • Acquired in 2018
  • CapMan Nordic Real Estate Fund II