The long-standing plans to construct a wooden "environmental house" (keskkonnamaja) museum and office building in Tallinn's Kalamaja district close to the Seaplane Harbor, remain alive. While the government plans to go ahead with the project, due to a drop in construction prices, a new tender will be launched.
"We are going through an exceptionally difficult time for the timber industry and this is an important building for them. However, we have agreed that we are going to have a new tender to get the price down, as materials have become cheaper than at the time of this [original] tender. Yes, we will go ahead with this construction project," said Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform).
The government's decision to go ahead with the project comes despite objections from the Social Democratic Party (SDE). "The cost of the 'environmental house' will have an impact on the state budget. It was not our first preference. We have said this to our partners repeatedly. But, in the end, we have to agree on the state budget, so maybe the environmental house will be built here," said Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets (SDE).
The Ministry of the Environment, along with various environment ministers has been planning for the construction of a wooden office and museum building for a number of years.
According to the plans, the 12,000 square meter building would host the Ministry of Climate, the environment agency, the central agency, the Center for Environmental Investments (KIK) and the Tallinn branch of the climate ministry's information technology center. The building would also house the natural history museum.
Estonian state real estate company Riigikinnisvara AS (RKAS) launched the tender for the construction of the so-called "environmental house" in December last year. However, officially, no further steps had been taken after the tender was launched.
The tender is still under evaluation. In May, Estonian news outlet Postimees wrote that the bids submitted for the tender ranged from €54 - 62 million. However, in 2021, the value of the tender had been expected to be €44.1 million.
Editor: Michael Cole