Sweden publishes strict building norms

The Cederhusen in Stockholm, Sweden.

The first country in the world to pass an environmental protection act in 1967, Sweden also hosted the first United Nations conference on global environment in 1972.

Since then, Sweden has not looked back, managing to grow its economy substantially while reducing carbon emissions and limiting pollution. The forest sector (including wood industry and pulp and paper industry) contributes about 5% to Swedish GDP.

The country’s forest industry has reduced its emissions by over 60% since 2005 and uses almost no fossil fuels in its processes – about 96% of the heating energy used by the forest industry is bio-energy.

However, the average carbon footprint per person and year in Sweden is 10 tonnes, which is significantly higher than the targeted 2 tonnes per person. In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, the Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning (Boverket) has put forward legislation requiring a climate declaration for buildings.

This will come into force on 1 January, 2022, making the developer responsible for producing a climate declaration for a finished building and submitting it to Boverket.

The proposal is for the legislation to apply to all new buildings and their structural elements, building envelope and internal walls. Practical digitalisation based on existing tools and processes can show how industrial wood construction on a large scale enables faster development with less of a climate impact and lower costs.

Housing project

Within Folkhem’s Cederhusen project, Stockholm’s first inner-city district to be built in wood, a collaborative group of experts in various fields has been put together, with members from the industry body Swedish Wood, Folkhem, Veidekke Eiendom, Veidekke Entreprenad, Zynka BIM, Bjerking and Vertex Systems.

The aim is to make serious advances in the development of quality assured and active climate work through every phase of a construction project by using a current, real-life project.

“We have high ambitions for this project on every front; and in terms of the climate impact, we want to find out how choices made early on in the process can cut emissions,” says Ms Anna Ervast Öberg, head of project development for wooden buildings at Folkhem.

“It’s also about finding systems and methods that prepare us for the imminent legal requirement that buildings must come with a climate declaration, but it’s at least as important to gather correct climate data as a support for decision-making in our processes,” she adds.

Mr Johan Fröbel, Head of Technology and Distribution at Swedish Wood says, “Our job is to help our member companies develop their own knowledge and tools, and so help to educate the whole construction sector. The next stage of development is to focus on standardising data and systematising information.”

Swedish Wood is an industry body that aims is to increase the size and value of the market for Swedish wood and wood products in construction, interior design and packaging. It represents the Swedish sawmill industry and is part of the Swedish Forest Industries Federation.



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