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Construction of Tallinn's 'environmental house' to begin in January

The planned 'environmental house' (Keskkonnamaja).
The planned 'environmental house' (Keskkonnamaja). Source: Kavakava architects.

Nordecon is set to begin work on the construction of the 'environmental house' in Tallinn early next year. Under the terms of the construction contract, the project will take two and a half years to complete.

The construction contract for the 'environmental house,' which will become Estonia's largest timber building, was signed on Tuesday and Nordecon. The winner of the tender, will begin construction early in the new year with a likely start date in January.

The building will be built in Tallinn's Lennusadama neighborhood at Vesilennuki 12 and will total 24,660 square meters. Work is due to be completed in the summer of 2026.

The project will cost €54.3 million (excluding VAT) to build. The building will be constructed of wood and be nearly zero-energy. According to Estonian Minister of Climate Kristen Michal (Reform), the construction of the building will help save up to €700,000 a year in administrative costs.

In addition to the Estonian Museum of Natural History, the new premises will also house the Environmental Board, the Environment Agency, the Environmental Investment Center, the Ministry's Information Technology Center and the planned Land and Space Agency.

"The construction of the 'environmental house' will provide work for the construction sector over coming years during what is a difficult situation, creating a reference point for the future of the timber sector for export and enriching public space with high-quality public infrastructure," said Michal.

The 'environmental house' complex will consist of three buildings: a museum building, a dock building and a town building. According to Nordecon board member Tarmo Pohlak, the construction will be unique, as it will be a timber-framed house built by the sea. "The location of the buildings in close proximity to the Gulf of Tallinn makes the construction of the underground excavation in the clay-rich soil below sea level rather challenging," Pohlak said.

The public architectural competition was won by the architecture office Kavakava OÜ, architects Siiri Vallner, Indrek Peil, Kristel Niisuke and Ko Ai.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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