The City of Helsinki: supporting the reuse of excavated soil in construction projects

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Technopolis Group
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Promoting local use of excavated soil 

The City of Helsinki has coordinated a project on the reuse of excavated soil in construction projects across the city. This project consists of improving coordination of how and where excavated soil is used. The decision to start this project came from the City Board and was implemented by ten experts from Helsinki's Urban Environment Division.

Finland has capitalised on rational use of natural resources in building and construction work. The use of rocks and soil as a resource has been recognised as a key way to reduce CO2 emissions in urban planning and design. As a result, carbon is saved as new carbon-storing soil is not disrupted and brought into the city. The project also saves on long distance transportation which naturally costs more - both financially and environmentally - than utilising most of the soil on the spot.

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Main results
  • Thanks to improved coordination of excavations in Helsinki, 17 100 tonnes of CO2, EUR 47 million and 6.9 million litres of water had been saved by the end of 2019, primarily by cutting transport
  • This initiative generates significant cost savings since it is no longer necessary to purchase soil for the foundations of public construction projects or to transport it over long distances
  • Promotion of CO2 calculations in the infrastructure of urban projects
  • With this initiative, the City of Helsinki saves EUR 5-10 million each year.