Woodhouse solutions

Renovation of apartment buildings

A significant share of the housing stock of Estonia consists of apartment buildings from the Soviet era, many of which have already stood for 60+ years and will be in need of a thorough renovation instead of cosmetic improvements in the near future. Large-scale renovations works of the building should be considered by everyone living in apartment buildings constructed approximately fifty years ago. Based on our construction practice, fifty years is the typical designed life expectancy of buildings, which means that the utility systems or structures (such as balconies) of the building may no longer function safely and the appearance of the building is very likely no longer aesthetic towards the final years of the life cycle.

Illustration of renovated apartment building (EstNor OÜ)

The solution provided by our house factories is – renovation of apartment buildings by using prefabricated timber frame façade elements.

Renovation by using prefabricated timber frame façade elements is a construction method which :

+ Involves building timber frame elements in a factory in the extent of at least 80% so that it is equipped with thermal insulation, wind and vapour barriers, new windows and doors, utility systems, and a completely finished façade.

+ Before the works starts, the apartment building is scanned and modelled to identify the peculiarities of each building (curves, bumps).

+ The elements are transported to the construction site, where they are attached to the existing building.

+ The works on the construction site include the connection and finishing of the elements, the required connections of the utility systems, plus finishing the side jambs of the windows, adding the vents, developing the heating system, etc., if necessary, in the apartments.

Factory based renovation with timber frame elements alleviates the issues accompanying regular renovation technologies, such as the maintenance of the construction site, a high demand for labour force, the time cost, or disturbing the residents during the construction works. It is not necessary to erect scaffolding around the building for several months. Prefabricated element renovation also ensures the high-quality and controlled completion of the work.

Woodhouse Estonia is a partner in the international project LIFE IP BuildEST with the aim of raising capacity, increasing experiences, developing the necessary toolset for improving energy performance, reducing carbon emissions of Estonian building stock in the required rate and providing a national framework and starter mechanism for carrying out the EU Renovation Wave Initiative on a national level.

Apartment cooperatives benefit from the fact that the renovation of apartment buildings with factory-produced facade elements is supported by the state through Kredex funding. Information about the Kredex measure HERE