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The collaboration with IVL makes Skogsvaktaren a more environmentally friendly project

Wallenstam needed to take an inventory of the climate footprint from its new production. Partly to develop their own climate work but also because a new law is underway. IVL Swedish Environmental Institute's experts started work and began a learning process so that Wallenstam can continue on its own.

- The calculations themselves might have been done by others as well. But we were equally interested in the process afterwards, in the analyzes, in being able to take it further. We wanted to know where we can take the fastest action to reduce the carbon footprint. In this sense, IVL has been very helpful in giving us tools.

A professionally taken picture of a man with a grey background

Jonathan Rodestedt is a construction expert at Wallenstam, a real estate company that has set its own internal climate goals for management for several years. But when it comes to the climate footprint their new production makes, they needed to build up more knowledge.

- So far, we have not worked as actively to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in our new production as when it comes to operation and management. We intend to change that and we wanted to know what is required of us.

We saw that IVL's work is close to the research. They have overall knowledge and have also developed the tools that were relevant to use.

In the background there lies a legal requirement that will take effect in 2022 and which states that real estate companies and developers must report climate footprints in new projects. Wallenstam wants to prepare for that.

- But we also have internal climate goals that we want to meet. Here we need knowledge. How do we map our construction projects all the way down to screw and nut level?

A first step is to make a so-called baseline measurement that describes what the situation looks like today. This is where IVL Swedish Environmental Institute's experts were hired and the project they were to analyze is located in an area called Mölnlycke Fabriker.

The Skogsvaktaren district consist of two towerblocks in the old factory area Mölnlycke with historical origins, from which a new district emerges with proximity to greenery and park. The houses must have a concrete frame and be built in accordance with Wallenstam's standard technology.

IVL Swedish Environmental Institute's experts Åsa Thrysin and Frida Görman were involved and after a few initial meetings, the work started.

- Wallenstam wants to understand how they can reduce their climate impact. Then they first need to know where they are today. Where should the efforts be made to be effective. Is it the frame, the roof or somewhere else, says Åsa Thrysin.

IVL Swedish Environmental Institute has together with the industry developed the tool that came to be used, the Construction Sector's Environmental Calculation Tool, (In Swedish: Byggsektorns Miljöberäkningsverktyg, or BM). It is a tool that everyone has access to, but the fact that it is IVL Swedish Environmental Institute that stand behind and also maintains BM contributed to Wallenstam's choice of partner, according to Jonathan Rodestedt.

In the Construction Sector's Environmental Calculation Tool, information was entered on construction resources, weight and quantities. With regard to transport emissions and spills on the construction site, pre-determined scenarios were used. Everything was then boiled down in the unit of measurement kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) per square meter.

Åsa Thrysin says:
- Wallenstam sent documentation on their materials and quantities for the various building components that we processed. If some information was missing, which it almost always does, we established a dialogue. Then we entered the information in BM which we then reviewed and evaluated if it was a reasonable result.

Åsa Thrysin and her colleague took support in the research that exists and on which they are loaded. They also relied on IVL Swedish Environmental Institute's collective experience in the field in the form of previous projects.

The difficult thing in the work was to get as accurate a foundation as possible, says Åsa Thrysin. An exterior wall may differ from the others. It can be an extra frame wall in a garage. All this affects carbon dioxide emissions. What could not be calculated exactly, estimates were made. This all led to several conversations with Wallenstam's construction expert Jonathan Rodestedt to make as reasonable assumptions as possible.

- We had a good dialogue, he says. IVL has been clear and open and helped us find the data we needed. That dialogue also became a learning experience for us. Among other things, we saw that it is not always as complicated as one might think to get concrete figures.

The project started in June, and after the summer Åsa Thrysin and Frida Görman presented a report to a group within Wallenstam, including the company's sustainability manager. It was the starting shot for the company's own work.

- They may have started this project to prepare for the legal requirement. But once we presented the results, the reaction was: Oh, we can improve here, says Åsa Thrysin.

The report and presentation had an almost immediate effect. It did not take more than a month before Wallenstam heard from Åsa Thrysin that they had found ways to reduce the amount of concrete in the frame and thereby reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the Skogsvaktaren neighborhood. Concrete frames are often the most climate-damaging in a house construction.

- They asked us to make a complement calculation for how big the amount of savings would be, says Åsa Thrysin. Wallenstam had developed two different alternatives. One option provided savings of 9 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents per square meter. The second option was even more climate efficient. Where as much as 22 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents per square meter were saved.

- We also helped Wallenstam's sustainability manager to interpret the input data and data for a review of frameworks in all Wallenstam's projects, says Åsa Thrysin

Wallenstam is established in Gothenburg as well as in Stockholm and Uppsala, and they build in slightly different ways in the different regions. As recently as January, Wallenstam in Stockholm got in touch about doing the same job, in Stockholm as well.

- For us, the collaboration with IVL led to us being able to make Skogsvaktaren a less climate-damaging project. It has also led to a review of several of Wallenstam's projects, says Jonathan Rodestedt.

Wallenstam now continues to implement the results of the collaboration and produces the action plans where IVL's calculations are included as a central part. In March, the first sod for the Skogsvaktaren block in the Mölnlycke factory area will be taken, with frames that are less climate-damaging.

Jonathan Rodestedt, construction expert at Wallenstam:

Our shareholders like that we have taken such big steps in our climate work. In the end, this is what our financiers are looking at. And we are also well prepared for the new law, says Jonathan Rodestedt

About the project: Climate calculation Skogsvaktaren

  • Project time: June-October 2020
  • Participants from IVL: Åsa Thrysin and Frida Görman
  • Contact person Wallenstam: Jonathan Rodestedt.
  • The work resulted in the report: Climate calculation Skogsvaktaren - Life cycle analysis Apartment building (no. U 6343).

About the neighborhood Skogsvaktaren / Mölnlycke factories

Mölnlycke Fabriker is one of Wallenstam's largest urban developments in the Gothenburg region, which includes 700 new homes and the development of the area's genuine factory environments. The Skogsvaktaren district is part of this investment and consists of two towerblocks with 130 apartments. Construction starts in the first half of 2021.

New law on Climate Declaration

On 1 January 2022, a new law on climate declaration of new buildings will take effect. The law covers everyone who applies for a building permit after this date. This means that emissions of greenhouse gases from the construction phase of the building must be declared as the building's climate impact. The construction phase includes extraction of raw materials, manufacture of construction products, work on the construction site and transport. The basis for a climate declaration is a life cycle analysis (LCA).

Source: The National Board of Housing, Building and Planning.

The project that IVL Swedish Environmental Institute's experts Åsa Thrysin and Frida Görman were hired to analyze is located in an area called Mölnlycke Fabriker.

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