In practice, the TAPRE project, aimed at greater energy efficiency in service buildings, is to hammer out contractual and operational principles for how energy matters are to be included in procurement documents.
So far, individual property owners have had to define energy-efficient procurement principles, something which has required resources and skill. Service providers, meanwhile, have had to answer in different ways, and with weak arguments from the point of view of energy efficiency, to calls for bids. This has imposed unnecessary burdens on those submitting offers for providing services, and has made it more difficult to make fair comparisons among offers.
"In addition to the City of Tampere, the TAPRE project involves a large number of service providers, contractors, and property owners. The aim is to achieve documents connected with procurement which would make public procurements easier and more efficient. Service providers and the public service procurer can be made to speak the same language, as it were", says the project's director, Teuvo Aro of AX Consulting.
"Service providers and contractors comment on the documentation of the call for bids - that is, they can take a stand on whether or not it is good to make an offer from the starting points that were put forward."
Aro is somewhat unhappy with existing procurement legislation, which does not give bidders much leeway to bring forward new ideas and ways of implementation.
"It is hard to advance innovation in public procurements, if the principle is silly."
"If a company has an idea which is not similar to anything else on the market, we are in a situation in which a public player cannot put it up for competitive bidding – or then the procurement would require special bravery and extraordinary procedures. New ideas are easier to market to private owners than to public entities. Decision-makers on the private side can operate flexibly in their procurements, according to what the situation dictates", Aro says.
Players in construction extensively present
Taking part in the TAPRE project as building owners are the City of Tampere and the other municipalities of the Tampere City Region, Kesko, the Pirkanmaa section of the S-Market chain, the Pirkanmaa Hospital District, the Federation of Evangelical Lutheran Parishes in Tampere, and University Properties of Finland Ltd. There are ten construction and maintenance companies involved, two architectural firms, and three planning and consulting firms.
"So we have a fairly exhaustive collection of players in construction in the Pirkanmaa region. Well over 50 per cent of the service buildings in Pirkanmaa are involved in the project", Aro says.
The Real Estate Department of the City of Tampere administers the project, and is a party to the contracts. Represented on steering groups are entities that own properties, in addition to TEKES, the energy efficiency company Motiva, and the Pirkanmaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment. The total budget for the project is about EUR 500 000. Financing the project are the City of Tampere, the Tampere City Region, property owners, and construction and maintenance companies, TEKES, Motiva, an the Ministry of the Environment. The project is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2013.
Participating property owners have signed a voluntary energy efficiency contract with the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. The basic goal of the agreement is energy savings of nine per cent in 2008 - 2016. The year of comparison is 2005.
Head of project
Tel +358 400 176 936
teuvo.aro (at) ax.fi