GrowSmarter Story

Refurbished GrowSmarter buildings win environmental certificate

Six buildings owned by the GrowSmarter partner Stockholmshem and refurbished as part of the EU-funded project has been awarded a silver certification by Sweden’s Green Building Council. The certification is only awarded to buildings performing well above regular environmental standards.

The buildings, from 1961 and located in the residential area of Valla Torg in Stockholm, improved their energy efficiency by more than 60 percent as a result of being refurbished with new technology and smart solutions in GrowSmarter. Sweden’s Green Building Council certifies buildings according to a strict certification system based on independent control and inspection using sixteen different indicators for energy use, indoor environment and choice of materials.

During the unique rebuild of Valla Torg, Stockholmshem and the GrowSmarter partner Skanska combined a traditional refurbishment with several tried and tested energy-efficient technologies, such as heat recovery, solar panels as well as district and geothermal heating.

"The refurbishment within GrowSmarter is a unique project that shows, among other things, that it is possible to reduce the energy use of existing properties to well below the regulatory requirements. By combining several solutions, we have achieved extraordinary results," says Patrik Andersson, Head of Construction & Engineering at Stockholmshem.

"It is great that our ambitious environmental and energy efficiency work is recognized. Valla Torg is an inspiring example of how to upgrade and improve energy efficiency in order to reduce the climate footprint of an existing property. It is also an example of how the EU's efforts add value to local initiatives," says Björn Ljung, Chairman of the Board of Stockholmshem.

In order to make it easier for the residents in the newly refurbished buildings to live climate smart, cargo bikes, an electric car pool and delivery rooms for parcels are offered. In addition, Stockholmshem arranges free lectures on everything from garbage sorting to cooking climate-smart food.

To achieve GrowSmarter's goal of reducing energy use by 60 percent in Valla Torg, the following has been done:

  • Five of six buildings were connected with district heating
  • For one of the buildings, a geothermal heating system was installed for an even better energy efficiency
  • New facades with additional insulation, new energy-efficient windows, renovated balconies
  • New, well-insulated roofs with new fan rooms and solar installations
  • New exhaust air system for ventilation with heat pumps for energy saving
  • New systems with new centers for heating and electrical installations
  • New systems for water and wastewater, with heat exchange from wastewater in the buildings
  • Smart electricity grids and solar cells create local renewable energy, which is used, among other things, to power lifts and washing machines

In addition to the energy renovation, the apartments and the area have also been equipped with:

  • New pipelines for district heating, water (sewerage) and external lighting
  • New garbage disposal system with garbage disposal plant and new environmental housing for garbage
  • New improved outdoor facilities, new parking spaces, new electric car and bicycle pool
  • New kitchens, bathrooms, doors etc.

Read more about the refurbishment at Valla Torg in our factsheet or on Stockholmshem's website (in Swedish).