Is Stockholm’s “people-heated” office the world’s greenest commercial building?
And can Scotland have one?
Monday 28th October 2013
Venue Old College, Edinburgh University
Lecture Theatre 175 (far right corner of old quad opp Blackwells on South Bridge)
Time 18:00 - 20:00 with Klas Johansson
Kungsbrohuset is an office building with a difference. It’s heated by people. Excess body heat produced by 200 000 daily commuters in nearby Central Station is piped in, the windows let daylight in, but block out summer heat. Bike parking is state of the art and tenants are offered changingrooms with showers and lockers. Hour by hour, the building gets automatic digital weather forecast updates to adjust heating and cooling hours in advance to offset outdoor temperature changes. Cooling is achieved with the help of cool water from the nearby canal Klara Sjö, minimizing energy costs. And the building project was central in the development of the new business district in Västra City in central Stockholm giving businesses shorter distances to downtown services. What’s not to like?
Kungsbrohuset -- opened on 6 May 2010 -- was described as the world’s greenest commercial building. The thirteen floor building has double walls, the outer made entirely of glass and the inner 50 percent glass, a more energy efficient design than a traditional glass and steel building. The co-ordinator Klas Johansson describes it as "an unbelievably efficient system, featuring quintuple glazing."
Most of the heat comes from geothermal sources obtained by pipes sunk around the incoming tunnels to Stockholm station – Sweden’s largest terminus. Organisation and cooperation have been the watchwords in this project – and taking the risk of setting high specifications for a commercial building. It seems to have paid off. The Schibsted International Media Group are the main tenants (they publish Aftonbladet (jointly owned by the Swedish Trade Union Confederation) and Svenska Dagbladet. The Swedish Royal Institute of Technology have conducted a large-scale, two-phase study of Schibsted energy consumption and environmental impact before and after moving into Kungsbrohuset and the company reports findings to the Carbon Disclosure Project, an international cooperation project between institutional investors who manage assets totalling more than 60 trillion USD. The social media site Blocket.se, Hitta.se and Tasteline are other tenants in the building and developers and property managers, Jernhusen relocated its headquarters there as the first tenant. On level four, there is accommodation for shops and a restaurant and there is hotel accommodation.
How does it work? Could Scottish business ever afford to go this green – can the planet afford us not to? Come and find out.
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