The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic. The term includes Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, as well as Greenland and the Faroe Islands – which are both part of the Kingdom of Denmark – and the Åland Islands and Svalbard archipelagos that belong to Finland and Norway respectively. The term Scandinavia in local usage covers the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The majority national languages of these three belong to the Scandinavian dialect continuum and are mutually intelligible North Germanic languages. Finnish language is completely different, related to Hungarian and Estonian languages.

The Nordic countries are sparsely populated and characterized by cold climate (see Table 1). Regarding the energy use and sources, they are very different. Energy use per capita is quite high except in Denmark. This is mainly due to energy intensive industry (forest and metallurgy) in Finland, Norway and Sweden. Main source of electricity generation in Norway is hydro power. Finland has high percentage of nuclear which is still increasing. In all countries the share of renewable sources is much higher than in EU on average, but from different reasons. In Norway it is due to hydro power, in Finland and Sweden it is due to the forest industry, which uses all waste material from the wood processing for electricity generation. In Denmark the high percentage of electricity is mainly due to wind power.

Co-generation and district heating have very significant role in all Nordic countries. Natural gas is not used as much in heating of buildings, due to limited gas pipe network.

Energy efficiency of buildings has traditionally been good, partly due to cold climate, but also due to dependency on imported fuels, except Norway. The NZEB criteria are quite stringent, however, could be better.

Table 1. Some basic information of Nordic countries and their energy use.







Population, million





Land area, 1 000 km²





Population density, people per km²





Member of EU since

1 973

1 995

non member

1 995

Heating degree days, °Cd, base 18°C

3 072 Copenhagen

4 331 Helsinki

4 465 Oslo

4 005 Stockholm

NZEB primary,
HVAC energy requirement for apartment buildings, kWh/m², a


(A=heated floor area)




Energy use, MTEO





Share of renewable sources in energy use





CO2 emission,
ton per capita per year





Electricity use,
kWh/capita per year

5 720

14 732

24 006

12 853

Production capacity of electricity by energy source in %

Fossil         46

Fossil        41

Fossil       3

Fossil         5

Nuclear        0

Nuclear    17

Nuclear   0

Nuclear    22

Hydro           0

Hydro       20

Hydro      93

Hydro       42

RES              54

RES            23

RES           4

RES           32


Due to cold climate and demand for good indoor environment the teaching of HVAC technology has been for long time in the curricula of the universities. The professors from Nordic Universities have been well recognized in the academic world like prof Ole Fanger from Denmark, prof Eystein Rodahl from Norway, prof John Rydberg, Folke Peterson and Tor-Göran Malmström from Sweden. The long tradition for HVAC has also been one reason to establish engineering societies. The oldest is the Swedish society, 110 years old, youngest Danish one, close to 70 years old. The number of members in the Nordic societies is high, almost one from one thousand inhabitant is a member (Table 2).

Due to cultural similarities there has also been interest in collaboration between the Nordic societies. Already in 1948, the Danish Association initiated Nordic cooperation and in 1953 the first Scandinavian HVAC conference was arranged in Copenhagen. Two Scanvac conference series are running still today. RoomVent conference, focusing on air flows in rooms and buildings, was held the first time in 1987 in Stockholm and the Cold Climate HVAC conference in 1994 in Rovaniemi, Finland.

SCANVAC (Scandinavian Federation of Heating, Ventilation and Sanitary Engineering Associations in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) was established the same year as the Cold Climate HVAC conference, to get a better structure and rules for the cooperation. Ole Fanger was elected as the first president of SCANVAC, followed by Per Rasmussen and then Olli Seppänen.

Table 2. HVAC associations in Nordic countries.






The Finnish Association of HVAC Societies FINVAC ry


NemiTek - Norsk VVS Energi- og Miljøteknisk Forening


Swedish HVAC Society - Society of Energy and Environmental Technology

Number of members

2 000

4 associations with totally 5 500 members

4 700

7 000

Who can be a member

All persons in the HVAC- branch

All persons in the HVAC- branch (in FINVAC´s member associations)

All persons in the HVAC- branch

All persons in the HVAC- branch

Membership fee

150 euro

70–120 euro

130 euro

75 euro






Number of supporting members


200 (in FINVAC´s member associations)




·    The HVAC Magazine (in cooperation with TechMedia)

Journals of FINVAC´s member associations

·    Talotekniikka (HVAC Journal in Finnish language)

·    vvs värme- och sanitetsteknikern (HVAC Journal in Swedish language)

·    Sisäilmauutiset (Indoor air Journal in Finnish language)

·    Norsk VVS

·    Rørfag

·    Byggdrifteren

·    Kulde

·    Norsk Energi

·    Maleren

·    Matindustrien

·    Energi & Miljö (Energy and Environment, Journal of Heating, Ventilating and Sanitary Techniques, Indoor Climate)

Major annual events

Yearly Danvak Day and Installation conference

Yearly Energy seminar and Indoor climate seminar

Yearly Operations conference and HVAC-days

Biannually Nordbygg Expo and yearly seminars in Stockholm

Most important source of funding

Courses and conferences

Projects, courses and seminars

Journals and conferences

Membership fees (and for the journal, advertising revenue)


Olli Seppänen, President of SCANVAC
SiruLönnqvist, Secretary General of SCANVAC
Pages 6 - 7

Stay Informed

Follow us on social media accounts to stay up to date with REHVA actualities


0 product in cart.products in cart.