“WE NEED THE INDUSTRY’S HELP TO ACHIEVE OUR OBJECTIVE”
Bengt Dahlgren helps the local administration in Gothenburg to do what seems impossible – to build a fossil-free preschool.
The CITY OF GOTHENBURG has an objective to become a climate-neutral city with sustainable and fair levels of greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050. As a part of creating the conditions for achieving this objective, the local administration in Gothenburg has been commissioned to build a fossil-free preschool. As far as possible, the preschool must be constructed fossil-free, with a minimal carbon footprint, in everything from the production and transportation of materials to the use of energy in the finished building. Any remaining carbon footprint must be compensated.
Bengt Dahlgren has been hired as an external project manager for the project.
“Now we need the help of the construction industry and material manufacturers to achieve our objective and we need the most innovative products and solutions available on the market,” says Maria Perzon at Bengt Dahlgren.
The first stage in the project was an investigation of a newly built preschool to identify which building materials contain fossil raw materials. In total, over 200 products were used in the preschool and one sixth of these consisted almost entirely of fossil raw materials.
“These include plumbing products, insulation, electrical products, joints, membrane lining and plastic film. Even surface finishes, joints, paints and adhesives contained a large proportion of fossil raw materials. Less than one third of the products were fossil-free. However, many of these consisted instead of metal or concrete, which also has a big impact on the climate due to emissions from production and transport,” says Maria Perzon and continues:
“Fossil-free building materials and building materials with recycled raw materials need to be developed. The inspiration for fossil-free alternatives can be found in older construction methods and building materials, and in new research innovations such as bio-plastics. We also need to increase the reuse of building materials. One way to reduce the climate impact of a product could be to use as little as possible of that product,” explains Maria Perzon. This can be done, for example, by locating installations where they minimise the routing of pipes, and by minimising waste on construction sites. We also need to minimise transport movements and energy use on construction sites and go fossil-free.
OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS, there has been a major focus in the construction industry on reducing energy use in buildings. As the buildings become more energy efficient, building materials contribute to an increasing proportion of the climate impact from a building.
Today, residential and commercial premises account for approximately 18 % of total greenhouse gas emissions in Sweden. If you include the consumption of import goods, the residential and local sector together is linked to more than one third of Swedish greenhouse gas emissions.
The fossil-free preschool will be completed in 2020 and the political objective for the City of Gothenburg is that all buildings must be fossil-free in the long term.