BEEM-UP Site Alingsas

Country & City

  • Sweden
  • Alingsås

Project

Contact Information

The Swedish demo site of the BEEM-UP project is located in Alingsås and known as Brogarden. The area consists of multi-dwelling buildings built in the period 1971 to 1973, comprising a total of 300 apartments, divided into 16 houses with 2 to 4 floors each. All apartments have a balcony or patio.

Overall, a gross floor area of 14 860 m² has been refurbished in the project. The houses were stripped down to the frame and rebuilt using passive house techniques. While doing this, the layout of the apartments has been changed slightly to ensure better accessibility and to provide an increased number of large apartments that suit the modern way of living better than the old layout.

Brogarden is classified by the municipality as an area of conservation value. The building materials have therefore been chosen to resemble those of the original building.

*Please note that there is no design data for the electrical consumption of the demo site.

The energy consumption figures amounted to 210 kWh/m²/yr before the project and 90 kWh/m²/yr after the interventions were implemented. The total thermal consumption was reduced by two thirds, from 170 kWh/m²/yr to 58 kWh/m²/yr thanks to the passive strategies deployed in the building, such as the highly efficient insulation. These results show that the interventions led to a reduction in the thermal energy consumption of over 100 kWh/m²/yr.

The results from the Swedish demo site show that the anticipated savings regarding space heating are largely achieved, while the expectation on the reduction of domestic hot water consumption is not met. The 45 % savings in energy for domestic hot water seemed to be too ambitious, especially as the consumptions are very much dependent on the tenants’ behaviour. The discrepancies could be explained by the fact that the calculations were made with the assumption that the heating and ventilation systems would be functioning perfectly.

The electricity consumption (sum of domestic and common consumptions) that includes lighting consumption showed a decrease of 33.7 %. The discrepancy between this result and the objective of the project on lighting (42 %) could be explained by the tenants’ habits.

The BEEM-UP project did not set any goals regarding the reduction of CO2 emissions, but reached a reduction of 61 tonnes of CO2. Regarding the overall primary energy saving, the objective was saving 75 % on heating consumption and 45 % on domestic hot water. The monitored results show that the primary energy savings have been reduced by 75 % and 12 % respectively.

Regulatory & Administrative

Regulatory & Administrative
Country
Encountered barriers
Solution
Sweden

According to the Swedish legislation, it is not legal to raise rent due to energy efficiency measures, i.e. the costs for a passive house renovation cannot be recovered by a rent increase.

It is fully legal to raise the rent due to ‘improvements to the living standard in the apartment’. To overcome the legal obstacle and to demonstrate the improved living standard, the project partners in Sweden came up with a number of creative solutions:  

  • Before the renovation, heating was an important expense item. Due to the passive house technique, the cost for heating became minimal, resulting in radically decreased future expenses.
  • Before the renovation, the household electricity and hot water were included in the rent. After the renovation, these costs were transferred to the tenants (as specified lines on the rent invoice). To charge for the household electricity is normal Swedish procedure and before the renovation the Brogården housing estate was an exception. To charge for the hot water is a new Swedish standard. Owners do not earn any money by charging for water or electricity, however, they are relieved of a significant cost.
  • In order to address a significant thermal bridge, the original indented balconies were moved out in line with the façade. This meant that all apartments gained space of 4 m2. Owners could charge extra rent for the increased space. Owners were also able to create fully accessible bathrooms in all flats and could charge extra rent for accessibility. Furthermore, the deep renovation meant that all flats have new build standard – and thus they could charge extra rent for ‘improvements to the living standard in the apartment’. The fact that the apartments got significantly better indoor climate after the renovation can also be considered as ‘improvements to the living standard’, which makes it eligible for a rent increase.

Acceptance & uptake, Regulations & standards, Regulatory & Administrative, Social, Energy

Technical

Technical
Country
Encountered barriers
Solution
Sweden

The passive house technique requires the slab on ground to be extremely well insulated. In a refurbishment, where the slab is already in the ground, this is not possible as lifting the slab and putting insulation underneath is unfeasible. This was without doubt the biggest technical challenge at Brogården. 

Several different solutions were tried. In the end a floating PIR-insulation on the inside was deemed most efficient. In addition, the slab got a thick layer of insulation put in trenches around each house.

Technical, Energy

Sweden

The savings expected regarding space heating are largely achieved, while the expectation on the reduction of DHW consumption is not met. The 45 % savings in energy for DHW seemed to be too ambitious, especially as the consumptions are very much dependent on tenants´ behaviour. The discrepancies could also be explained by the fact that the calculations are made with the assumption that the heating and ventilation systems are functioning perfectly. Another explanation for the difference is that the temperature set point used for the predictions’ calculation was 21°C for Brogården, while the real indoor temperatures has been an average of 22-23°C for the year.

Specific solution has not been reported by the project.

Technical, Energy

Best Practices

Best Practices
Country

Description

Links to lessons learned
Sweden

In general, the project has been very successful and this is, according to many of the partners, largely thanks to the extensive involvement and the partnership model of the project. Every project member contributed, shared their experiences and ideas, and helped each other at a much deeper level than in normal retrofitting projects because of the shared objective and incentives, the positive dialogue and the team spirit.

Sweden

A crucial element of the successful implementation of the project was the continuous dialogue with the tenants and the good collaboration within the procured partnership. The developer created a showroom apartment and together with the Swedish Union of Tenants held an open house every week for the tenants of the housing complex. A newsletter was distributed once a month with contributions from the building owners Alingsåshem, the Tenants’ Union and the construction company Skanska. In addition, understanding that these were not merely houses but people’s homes, where they tried to continue living their daily lives despite the renovation works, made a difference.

Sweden

The extensive renovation and sharp energy focus mean that future financial risks are reduced, as operation and maintenance costs will be significantly lower following the retrofit. There is also a transaction of future behaviour-related risks of energy costs from the building owner to the tenant, as the tenants take charge of their own energy bills and possible savings after the renovations (before, the costs were included in the rent, which did not encourage energy saving). The improvement of quality in the buildings and the status of the neighbourhood will also minimise future financial risks such as vacancies.

Sweden

A crucial element of the successful implementation of the project was the continuous dialogue with the tenants and the good collaboration within the procured partnership. The developer created a showroom apartment and together with the Swedish Union of Tenants held an open house every week for the tenants of the housing complex. A newsletter was distributed once a month with contributions from the building owners Alingsåshem, the Tenants’ Union and the construction company Skanska. In addition, understanding that these were not merely houses, but people’s homes where they tried to continue living their daily lives despite the renovation works made a difference.

Energy: 

Energy efficiency in buildings

  • Retrofitting the building envelope
    • New wall containing several layers of insulation and slotted steel studs with a total of 440 mm insulation
    • 100 mm expanded polystyrene extending 1 metre below ground level was added to the basement, along with 100 mm drainage panel downwards to the ground floor
    • 400 mm new mineral wool insulation was fitted in the roof space
    • The windows were replaced with triple pane windows with insulated glass.
  • Building integrated renewable energy sources
    • Photovoltaic panels on the roof and/or walls were installed on three of the buildings
  • Building services (HVAC and lighting)
    • Optimised lighting: low-energy fittings in the apartments and low-energy or halogen lighting and LED lighting in stairwells
    • Mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery: balanced ventilation with heat recovery, where single unit serves entire building
ICT: 
  • Building energy management system
    • ICT energy management was installed including smart meters. Electricity is measured individually, hot water is monitored remotely for each apartment, and heating is measured for each staircase.

The investment cost for the intervention was EUR 1 500 per m², which represents a total of EUR 22.25 million. According to the data provided and SCIS calculations, the annual cost savings for energy come to EUR 361 633, from a total cost of EUR 394 613. Therefore the annual costs after renovation equal EUR 32 980.

With regard to the payback period, an inflation rate of 3 % for the energy prices has been assumed while the discount rate has been assumed to be 3 %. The resulting payback period is 30 years.

The financial analysis shows that the profitability of the project is not given due to the high investments in comparison to the low energy cost savings. This however does not reflect non-monetary benefits that might occur through implementation.