NREP’s residentials in Salem to be net zero energy buildings
The Norra Vitsippan housing project in Salem, Stockholm County, acquired by NREP from Skanska Hyresbostäder earlier this year, will achieve net zero energy use. This means that the properties will generate as much energy as they consume in one year. The property development will also take place with as little impact on the climate as possible. The ambition of the initiative is to challenge how residentials can be developed more sustainably in terms of both production and energy use. The sustainability goals will be achieved using solar panels, geothermal energy, and material choices such as timber frames and green concrete.
The shortage of housing is continuing to increase in the metropolitan regions in the Nordics. At the same time, the construction and real estate sector accounts for a significant share of society’s climate impact. These are two challenges which NREP is addressing in the long term. Over the past year, the real estate investor has intensified its investment in housing in Sweden and is experiencing a strong growth phase. NREP currently has around 1 000 apartments under construction in the Mälardalen region. In Salem, located in the Greater Stockholm area, the company acquired the Norra Vitsippan rental property project from Skanska Hyresbostäder, which is responsible for the development. The project comprises 108 rental apartments divided between seven buildings, scheduled for completion in 2021.
It has now been decided that the properties will be net zero energy buildings. Solar collectors or solar cells will be installed on all roofs, partially to cover the annual electricity requirements of all seven properties and partially to be incorporated in the heating system. Heating and domestic hot water are to be generated with HYSS (Hybrid Solar System), an innovative system combining solar and geothermal energy. In addition, the properties are being built using sustainable materials. The structures of the buildings are constructed with timber frames and the project uses Skanska’s green concrete.
“NREP places high demands on our projects. We want to help meet the need for more attractive and affordable housing in the Stockholm area where there is a widespread housing shortage – and at the same time push the boundaries of how our developments can be more climate-smart. Norra Vitsippan will be a modern housing project where sustainability is key to both the development phase and the management of the finished properties. I look forward to the continued process and, above all, to being able to welcome the residents to smart and sustainable rental apartments next year,” says Rickard Langerfors, responsible for NREP’s residential developments in Sweden.
In the development phase, Skanska is taking extensive measures to ensure that the development of the buildings has a high sustainability profile. The project will be undertaken according to the Skanska Hållbar Hyresbostad label. This means that the project will comply with high standards for energy, daylight and water use, but also that Skanska will work to minimise the production’s environmental impact and to design the properties in a socially sustainable way.
“Both Skanska and NREP value sustainability issues highly and it is gratifying that NREP has chosen to invest in the Norra Vitsippan project, where we have strived to raise the bar in sustainability. The fact that NREP is investing in this project shows our common goal of being pioneers in achieving a sustainable future,” says Britta Cesar Munck, Region Head of Rental Housing, Skanska Sverige.
A step towards achieving ambitious sustainability goals
In order to explore how properties can be built better from an environmental perspective, NREP has broken new ground for several sustainability solutions. These include development of the world’s first building constructed using 100 percent recycled concrete from the property which previously stood on the site, the Resource Rows housing project where the façade consists of bricks from old buildings and Upcycle Studios where wood, cement and windows have been reused. At the same time, the energy issue in particular has received considerable attention in the company’s sustainability work.
“It is NREP’s goal that all of our properties will use 100 percent renewable energy by 2025 and we are implementing several initiatives to help us achieve this. For example, we are installing the Nordic region’s largest rooftop solar plant in Borås, which will contribute record amounts of green electricity to the local community and, last year, we built a deep geothermal well in Finland which reduces the property’s CO2 emissions by around 90 percent. We now want to provide more sustainable, energy-smart homes in Sweden where Norra Vitsippan is an important step in the right direction,” says Stefan Wallander, CEO at NREP in Sweden.