The architect’s role in climate-smart building projects is crucial

5 juli 2023

In connection with Vasakronan ordering a design assignment from Belatchew, a climate calculation was also done on an office building in Kista. Vasakronan's ambition is to be climate neutral by 2030 and Carl-Johan Gustavsson, Project Manager, emphasizes that the architect has a decisive role in reaching the set climate goals.

– Normally, we do climate calculations a little later in the process. This time we enlisted the help of Belatchew early in the phase and together with the designer we were able to optimize both the design and the frame itself, which is one of the carbon dioxide driving details in a climate calculation. Belatchew is a forerunner when it comes to working in that way, says Carl-Johan.

Vasakronan has set much tougher goals than the international and national goals for climate neutrality by 2045.

– We must be climate neutral in the entire value chain by 2030 and we are already today in our property operations. It’s a challenging goal and it’s when we build that we have to get better, that’s why we work hard on it. In order to be able to build climate-smart, the architect plays a big role.

– If a new project is to land correctly in a climate calculation, with good energy value, good climate footprint and good economy, you must work with the form factor. That is, to know how much enclosing surface, for example an external wall, it is in relation to internal rentable surface. If you optimize by having a little facade and roof, there will be little material at the same time. And then you automatically also have lower carbon dioxide emissions, says Carl-Johan.

Carl-Johan is optimistic about the future and that more new construction projects will be climate neutral. They can even become climate-positive, thanks to wooden frames that bind carbon dioxide. Reuse of existing properties, however, requires more development, he believes.

– We are trying to start more with recycling because it has great potential. But if you are going to tear out parts of an old office building, you need to find someone who wants to buy, for example, windows or doors. Because there is no way to put them in any warehouse. At the same time, we need to find recycled parts to fit in instead of the old ones. Getting this to flow well at affordable prices and achieving circular processes will be important to work with for the entire market, concludes Carl-Johan.

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