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Building Information Modeling/ Virtual Design & Construction
The Backa Röd area was part of Sweden’s million homes program and is situated on Hisingen in Gothenburg. There we have renovated a four-story building with 16 apartments into a low-energy building.
The primary goal with the renovation was to lower energy consumption by two-thirds. However, we also installed new bathrooms, kitchens and renovated surface finishes. All electrical, water and sewer systems were also replaced.
The building at Backa Röd is a pilot project for Bostads AB Poseidon. Together, we developed theories regarding energy efficiency that we then tested on the four-story building. We wanted to achieve a significant reduction in energy consumption through additional insulation and by tightening the entire building envelope, as well as recycling heat from the exhaust air. Consequently, we installed an FTX system (exhaust and supply air ventilation with heat recovery), which also resulted in a good indoor climate.
Evaluation of the project is being done using an identical building in the area as a reference to make ongoing energy utilization comparisons.
The end result appears to be significantly better than expected! Energy use has dropped dramatically and we have created a very tight building.
Skanska has generated an enormous knowledge bank that we refer to as Miljonhemmet. In it, we have collected our experiences from the million homes program. For Backa Röd, we used tools from Miljonhemmet to inventory concrete damages, add supplemental insulation to the building facade and install a FTX system. At the same time, the Backa Röd project has resulted in additional knowledge being added to Miljonhemmet.
Residents were involved at an early stage of the project through a resident’s group, which helped to determine which measures needed to be implemented. Renovation began in April 2009, and tenants were able to move back in again by November 2009.
Jens LundenSkanska Sweden+46 10 44 84 254
Mejl Jens Lunden
Ralf GustafsonSkanska Sweden+46 10 44 84 135
Mejl Ralf Gustafson
Marknadssegment: Apartment buildings
The conversion to a low-energy building means that the building now uses less than a third as much energy as it used to.
The project demonstrated that LCC calculations accurately reflected reality.
LCC stands for Life Cycle Cost and is a comprehensive term for the calculations that are made to evaluate a product’s or a building’s total costs throughout their entire lifespan.
The advantage is not just that investment costs are evaluated, but also operating and maintenance costs. When we calculate the Life Cycle Cost, we are not simply analyzing energy. It is, for example, reasonable to assume that various surface finishes will have different costs, as well as differing maintenance requirements and lifespans. A Life Cycle Cost calculation makes it easier to compare the various alternatives. This can be done for a specific product, such as a window, type of wall, or for an entire building.
Since the construction process has an environmental impact, we have certified the workplace in accordance with Skanska’s own eco-labeling scheme, Green Workplace.
Green Workplace involves us reducing our environmental impact on the workplace in part by using energy-efficient lighting during construction (both inside and outside), maintaining high emissions standards on machinery and more stringent requirements than legislated for chemicals and waste management. We also review our energy consumption on a regular basis. In addition, we do not purchase bottled water and all coffee break food and coffee is KRAV-labeled.
The project was procured as a trust-based contract since Bostads AB Poseidon wanted us, with our experience of this type of building, to become involved already during the planning phase.
The developer Bostads AB Poseidon owns 1,600 apartments at Backa Röd, an area that was built during the early 1970s. The building that we renovated is a four-story tower block with four apartments on each floor.
The project’s biggest challenge was to make the building airtight. Consequently, we started by gathering everyone involved with the project and conducted a major review of the project. We also took a field trip with all of the employees to Brogården in Alingsås where we learned from their experiences.
We started by enclosing the entire building in order to avoid moisture damage or other work stoppages due to bad weather.
The crawl space, footing and building facade were provided with added insulation.
We also replaced all windows with new, more energy-efficient ones. Achieving a tight seal between the windowsills and the building facade was a difficult task.
The base of the roof was expanded to cover the additional insulation on the facade. Even the attic of the building was given added insulation, and we constructed an entirely new fan room over the attic rafters, above the stairwell, making the building very airtight.
In order to ensure a good indoor air climate, we also installed a new FTX system (exhaust and supply air ventilation with heat recovery).
Combined, these measures have resulted in such low heating requirements that the building only needs supplementary heat during the coldest months of the year, which is achieved using district heating.
In addition to the transformation into a low-energy building, we have also conducted significant upgrades to the building. We installed new bathrooms and kitchens and replaced all of the electrical, ventilation, water and sewer systems. Living rooms and bedrooms received fresh, new parquet floors. The apartments also received new surface finishes and security doors.
Previously, the balconies operated like a big thermal bridge so we sawed them all off. New balconies were installed on the outside of the insulation layer, and residents were given the option to glass them in.
The building’s concrete facade was repaired and 20 cm of foam insulation was added.
In order to assist residents to hold down their hot water usage, we have installed separate hot water meters for debiting each apartment. This allows residents to see the costs directly, which is an effective motivator in lowering usage. Heat and cold-water usage are also metered but are not billed separately to each tenant.
Room temperatures are measured in every apartment. Temperature, moisture content and relative humidity are measured in the crawl space and attic.
The building’s energy use is being monitored on an ongoing basis, with consumption being compared to an identical tower block in the area that has not been renovated.
“Skanska has capitalized on all of its experience from previous projects and applied that to this project. Consequently, the result has been incredibly successful. This is the first time that we have not had any complaints from tenants regarding draftiness, cold drafts or similar problems during as cold a winter as we had in 2009.”
Cathrine Gerle, Poseidon