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Major environmental objectives for Kopparhammaren

Sketch of Kopparhammaren. Image: AG Arkitekter

Environmental ambitions are big as LiU prepares to sign a new rental agreement for Kopparhammaren 2 in Norrköping. Green roofs and solar panels are among the measures that the owners hope will bring the buildings a classification as Gold and Silver class Environmental buildings (Miljöbyggnad).

Kopparhammaren 2 is owned by the property company Klövern and consists of three sections, one of which burned down in September 2010 but will now be rebuilt. One section will be renovated and another section may be renovated later if needed in the future, but will not be a part of the initial renovation phase.

In the plans for Kopparhammaren there is the aim of getting the newly built property a Miljöbyggnad Gold Certificate and the renovated part a Silver Certificate.

“We have chosen the Miljöbyggnad or Environmental building classification as it is the one that is best suited to Swedish conditions,” explains Helena Hammarskiöld of AG Arkitekter, the architects who designed Kopparhammaren 2.”

In order to be classified as a Miljöbyggnad a number of criteria must be met. These have to do with things such as energy consumption and interior climate. For Miljöbyggnad Gold the users of the building must also rate the building as “approved”. This happens in retrospect, with a questionnaire survey.

Solar panels are not a requirement in order to be classified as a Miljöbyggnad. But the plans for the newly built part of Kopparhammaren go further, with greater ecological ambition than the stipulated requirements.

“The roof of the newly built part will be shaped like the tooth of a saw, a roof inclined towards the south, covered with solar panels. The design is a kind of ‘nod’ to the saw tooth roofs of the old industrial landscape,” Hammarskiöld explains. “The electricity from the solar panels will provide a certain amount of the electricity used in this section of the property.”

Sketch of sedum roof on Kopparhammaren. Image: AG Arkitekter

Sedum roofs are a modern equivalent of old style peat roofs. And these are included in the plans for the renovated part of Kopparhammaren. Sedum is a genus including such plants as stonecrop and houseleek, hardy plants that do not require very deep soil.

“Sedum roofs are becoming more and more common,” Hammarskiöld says, “including in schools. But soil and plants are heavy so you can’t just go and put sedum on any old roof.”

There are several benefits of sedum roofs. Greenhouse effects are reduced by the vegetation, which converts carbon dioxide into oxygen. The roof also acts as a buffer against rainwater. In heavy downpours the rainwater is sucked up by the soil. And the roof makes an attractive surface in industrial landscapes where it is otherwise quite difficult to bring in greenery.

“One bonus effect is also that the roof has a cooling effect in the summer,” Hammarskiöld says.

The idea is that groups will be able to go up on the roof. There will also be smaller solar panels up there, which can be used as demonstrations in teaching on the environmental science programme, for example.

“This means that we also have to bear in mind accessibility, with things like lifts and emergency exits,” Hammarskiöld says.

Architect Helena Hammarskiöld

But it is not always easy to build in an environmentally friendly way in an area of cultural interest like an industrial landscape. The building that burned down was apparently the oldest industrial building in Norrköping. Hammarskiöld has done a lot of work on old buildings and she knows that the balance between cultural importance and environmental considerations can be difficult to achieve.

“We didn't want to try to recreate the building that burned down, but there is a desire for it to blend in with the old buildings. And the aim is for it to be possible to insulate the building that is to be renovated so that it becomes energy efficient without any impact on its appearance. But there will certainly be a debate about this.”

And it is not only in Norrköping that a balance must be struck between cultural and environmental concerns. The problem exists in many areas and the Swedish National Heritage Board and the Swedish Energy Agency are working together on a project, Spara och Bevara, which is looking at these issues.

Kopparhammaren presents the builders with a number of challenges by virtue of its position right alongside the river.

“It’s a little bit like building in Venice,” says Hammarskiöld (pictured at right). “There is even water beneath certain parts of the building. But there are also opportunities. For example we want to have windows that go down to the ground. This means you can see the water better and the environmental scientists can just open the window and fetch in a bit of water from the river for their laboratories.”

AG Arkitekter are currently working on the tender documentation. By the summer they must be able to start digging if the buildings are to be ready for the 2014 autumn term.


Read more about the project Spara och bevara

Elisabet Wahrby 2013-03-22

Page manager: elisabet.wahrby@liu.se
Last updated: 2013-04-05