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New Karolinska Solna

Sustainability and green

The Stockholm County Council is on the absolute cutting edge when it comes to high-level environmental requirements, and right from the very start the goal was to create one of the world’s most sustainable university hospitals. Skanska is building and certifying the New Karolinska Solna according to the Swedish third-party certification Miljöbyggnad and aiming for Gold.

But Skanska has decided to go even further than that. Once it is complete, NKS will also be one of the first hospitals in Europe to meet the tough environmental requirements for the international LEED Gold certification in line with Skanska’s ambition to become the world´s greenest construction company. The actual construction site is also classified according to Skanska’s own “Green Site” system, whose purpose is to create a greener work site during construction.

Environmental thinking at all levels

The Country Council’s environmental requirements for the project include eight strategic areas: energy efficiency, climate-neutral solutions, environmental impact, indoor climate, third-party certification, transport, waste management and materials management. Most projects usually focus on just a few of these areas, but NKS will be covering all of them.
This means specifications for nearly everything. From transportation - where the demands include choice of fuel, coordinated goods delivery, fuel-efficient driving and the like - to the selection of materials – such that the materials used must be low-consumption during construction and during the entire lifetime of the hospital.

Materials must also be tried and tested and based on renewable or recyclable raw materials. For this reason, all materials in the buildings are approved and documented according to the Swedish environmental evaluation of building products, (Byggvarubedömningen). During construction, as much as possible is re-used, sorted and recycled. The goal is to send zero building materials to landfills by 2015.

Environmentally friendly operations

Operation of the hospital must also live up to high environmental standards, from the detail level to overarching operations as a whole.

Energy will be supplied through a combination of district heating and cooling, a dedicated large geothermal plant and recycled energy from ventilation exhaust. The geothermal plant alone will satisfy 65 percent of the hospital’s demand for heat and cooling. As a result, the need for purchased energy will be 40 percent below the maximum in building norms for purchased energy, and the electricity used in the new hospital will come from renewable energy sources to the greatest extent possible. Another interesting detail is the use of green roofs, which insulate against cold and retain surface water, while adding green space to the site.

Good conditions for green traffic

Environmental thinking also applies to traffic to and from the hospital. For example, bicyclists will have many good possibilities including bicycle rooms for staff. In addition, 10 percent of all parking spaces will be equipped with charging stations for electric cars.