Taking Green to a higher level

3/20/2012 12:54 PM CET

The Green Tower Office Center is the first LEED Platinum building in Gothenburg, Sweden, and in Skanska’s own property register.

The 17-floor, 25,000-sq-m (269,098-sq-ft) office building is 80-percent leased. Half of this is Skanska's new office: greener, nicer and more cost-efficient than earlier locations.

“We are proud of this accomplishment. When we acquired the land and started developing the project in 2004, LEED was not targeted specifically. Still, most of what we have done has proved right. So, when we decided to turn up the green volume and go for LEED Platinum, it was not a major challenge,” says Gösta Backmark, project manager at Skanska Project Development Nordic.

The building opens up a new hot spot in Gothenburg. Green Tower Office Center area was established in the 1980s, but because of the Swedish financial crisis in 1992 and the recent financial crisis, it didn't take off – until now. Skanska decided to stick to the original plan and complete the project, despite the extremely weak leasing market after the failure of Lehman Brothers.

“I am glad to belong to a strong company that has the muscle and courage to go against the wind. Today, this attractive and completed office gives us a head start, now that the market is recovering.”

LEED Platinum proves the green performance

“The green qualities of this building, what it is made of and the built-in resources, are specified just like the ingredients on a package of cookies from the store,” says Henrik Ahnström, Project Leader. “The most challenging aspect has been materials. For some we haven’t been able to find lowemission alternatives, because there are none.

“Also, we don't have a top score on energy because we don't generate energy here. We have very good district heating, though, and finally we have managed to get an alternative compliance path accepted for that. Now I am working with the Nordic Green Building Councils to get the LEED system to take into account the benefits of district heating for all future projects.”

Green Tower Office Center is good, but the aim for the future is even higher

"Green Tower Office Center is a new Green landmark. This new office project is the first LEED Platinum building in Gothenburg, Sweden, and in Skanska's own property register." Henrik promises.

Deep Green means a building that is free of CO2 emissions has net zero primary energy consumption, zero construction waste and a net zero water consumption.

“There is much we can do to improve. We will start with a blank piece of paper, focusing not only on the green product but also the green process of getting there. But we can't do it alone. It has to be in cooperation with both the city and the suppliers.”

The City of Gothenburg is already on board for the journey to Deep Green. The city's environmental councilor Kia Andreasson said, as she pushed the button and officially opened the green tower, “We want Gothenburg to be the world's leading green city!” 

Green solutions

  • Efficient and low-energy airhandling system
  • High degree of heat recovery
  • Daylight and pleasant view for all workplaces
  • Locally produced wind power and district heating
  • Green car pool and charging station for electric cars
  • Green roof collects and neutralizes storm water
  • Low water use in all fixtures

Facts: Green Tower Office Project, Gothenburg

Area: 25,000 sq m
Owner: Skanska CDN
Builder: Skanska Sweden
Investment: MSEK 500
Construction start: Aug. 2008
Completed: Dec. 2010
Leased: 80 percent 

More about Green Tower Office Center

Read this and other articles in the Worldwide magazine no 1, 2011.