Finland’s Energy Wisest School competition gave students from primary and vocational schools new insights into the factors influencing the energy efficiency of buildings. The competition was organised by Caverion, Microsoft and the City of Oulu.
The competition was the first of its kind, reportedly in the world. During the competition period of several weeks, children and young people built energy-efficient designs of their schools in Minecraft Education, a version of the game designed for learning.
"I wholeheartedly thank all who took part in the competition. The entries are fantastic. Most importantly, the feedback from the schools shows that children and young people have learned new things about the energy wisdom of buildings. I hope enthusiasm generated by the competition continues further. We need new experts in this field in Finland also in the long term," says Ville Tamminen, Head of Caverion Finland division.
Finland's energy-wisest schools were built in Oulu, Jokioinen and Turku
In the primary school category, the winner is 6B class of Pitkäkankaan koulu in Oulu. The jury praised the architecture and the overall execution of the work. Special mention was given to the exercise bikes that generate electricity. The work is rich in ecological choices, such as rainwater harvesting and recycled biofuel, which is used in the school taxi. Solutions for renewable energy production and energy storage are also taken into account, with solar panels on the roofs and a heat recovery system in the school.
In the secondary school category, the best work was returned by a team of 9th graders from Paana School in Jokioinen. The jury found the work to be intact and finished as a whole, with many creative solutions.
The jury appreciated the use of geothermal heat and wind and solar power in energy production. The school also has a well-designed heat pump. The school is very ecological, with energy-efficient displays, local production of vegetables and root crops in the school's own fields, use of rainwater for irrigation, wall insulation with cellulose waste paper and electric car charging points. There is also a focus on the school's amenities, with many solutions to promote mobility and activity in the schoolyard.
The winning team from the vocational schools is a team of electrical and automation students from the Turku Vocational Institute. According to the jury, the competition entry is beautiful and functional, with many well thought-out details. For example, all the materials used in the construction were recycled and recyclable. The use of soil for storing heat and cool is a great idea. There are lots of renewable energy solutions, such as a wind turbine in the courtyard, solar panels on the roof and geothermal energy for heating, and a large-scale battery for energy storage. Local production is also a good and creatively thought out solution.
A total of 100 entries participated in the competition. Schools can continue to build the works, learn about energy wisdom in Minecraft and utilise the learning material produced as part of the competition.