5 green builds in Sweden by Skanska
Skanska is going from strength to strength, having recently been awarded a $220 million highway contract within Slovakia, in addition to a $206 million hospital contract in Michigan. The company has also een awarded a contract to construct a new hotel complex within Norway.
We take a look at some of the most sustainable buildings the company has constructed in Sweden, with green buildings becoming an increased focus within the construction industry.
Built at a cost of £6 million, the Malmo Live building is LEED Platinum certified, incorporating the Malmo Symphony Orchestra, two concert halls, a hotel with over 400 guest rooms situated over 25 floors, in addition to a conference hall. The build incorporates sustainable features, such as geothermal energy and the use of solar.
Designed by Schmidt/Hammer/Lassen Architects, the concert hall can comfortably seat over a thousand people, with multiple restaurants, spa and a bar on the 25th floor, providing visitors with iconic views across the city.
The entire construction covers 90,000sqm, successfully completing in 2015.
New Karolinska Solna
Once completed in 2018, Skanska’s largest ever sustainable project will aim to put the patients at the forefront of all decisions in this new hospital, which will allow all patients to have their own room and space within the establishment.
Designed by White Arkitekter and situated within Stockholm, the Karolinska Solna will incorporate 600 inpatient beds, over 30 operating theatres and over 100 outpatient clinic areas over 9-12 floors. Environmentally features will be implemented to enable the build to achieve LEED Gold certification. The use of materials such as stone, timber and glass will signify traditional Scandinavian construction and create a light and airy space.
Through a dual consortium with VINCI, Skanska have successfully completed the build of the tunnel which runs through the Hallandsas Ridge, reducing congestion between Gothenburg, Sweden and Copenhagen.
Since its completion, there has been increased transportation of goods via rail, in addition to providing a convenient transport link for commuters.
Situated 5km northeast of Helsingborg lies the Vala Gard office building, which has become Skanska’s greenest construction so far.
Gaining LEED Platinum and Deep Green status for its innovative design, the build has zero toxic materials, with many elements recycled, achieving zero energy. The build incorporates solar features to provide sufficient heating and cooling, creating more energy than what is currently used annually.
The build has won multiple awards, such as the best green building in Sweden and best LEED building.
Completed in 2000, the Oresund Bridge constructed by Skanska is the longest bridge in Europe, linking Copenhagen with Malmo.
The 16km bridge has won the IABSE Outstanding Structure Award and has provided vital links within the region.
Read the September 2016 issue of Construction Global magazine
Why are steel prices on the rise?
Steel is an essential material for all businesses in the construction industry. From cars to buildings and everything in between, it is a valuable resource but, as recently discovered, it is also becoming more expensive, especially in the United States. But why is this?
COVID-19 is the biggest cause of the rise in steel prices. The pandemic, in turn, has disrupted supply chains meaning steel as a material could not be shipped to construction sites, and that resulted in a higher price. However, once the height of the several lockdowns subsided, the price of steel remained high, even though those in the US steel industry expected it to drop.
According to the American Iron and Steel Institute (ASI), the US steel capacity utilisation rate has “remained at or above pre-pandemic levels of 80pc” for the last three weeks. This suggests that there is more steel available for buyers in a previously supply-constrained market.
During this time, the US Midwest hot-rolled coil (HRC) assessment by Argus Media increased by 2pc, or US$33.75/short ton (st). According to Argus, this is similar to a typical pre-pandemic price increase, which was US$40/st when announced by steelmakers. This price hike, which has seen steel costs quadruple since August 2020, continues onwards, leaving many people in the industry wondering what will happen in the future.
However, according to Argus Media, the Indiana-based electric arc furnace (EAF) minimill steelmaker Steel Dynamics (SDI) expects “post record profits” in the second quarter and that continued demand and "historically low flat roll steel inventories" will lead to even stronger third-quarter results.
Currently, though, the high steel prices mean that very few construction companies are looking to restock their supply of the material, meaning a delay to certain projects.
The automotive industry
One industry that’s been negatively impacted in particular is the automotive sector. Carmakers in North America have been dealing with disruption to their semiconductor production line for almost half a year, resulting in volumes at some steel processors being significantly reduced. In finding a solution, some car manufacturers, such as Ford, have looked at the idea of idled auto production online, although this is still in the early stages of development.
According to Cox Automotive,1.78mn new vehicles were manufactured in coming into June which is only a 35-day supply, and one of the lowest levels of production in history. By comparison, new car inventory was at 2.24mn at the end of April 2021.
This could mean automakers’ demand for steel reduces if the price remains, further constricting the spot steel market. It is clear that the rising price of steel is having a substantial impact on the industries that rely on it.
Fossil-free steel rolling
Partnering with Ovako, Volvo, Hitachi ABB, and H2 Green Steel, Nel ASA has today announced that it is planning a fossil-free hydrogen facility for steel rolling and milling operations in Hofors, Sweden.
The conversion to green hydrogen in the production process aims to reduce CO2 emissions from the facility by 50% from current levels with possibilities for future development of hydrogen infrastructure for transportation, the company said.
The initiative will focus on developing a fossil-free steel production facility, with the intention of taking the first step towards creating a future hydrogen infrastructure for the transport sector. The investment of approximately SEK180mn is supported by the Swedish Energy Agency via the Industriklivet initiative and will create significant benefits for the wider society from multiple perspectives.
Jon André Løkke, Chief Executive Officer of Nel ASA, said: “"We will work collaboratively together to make this project a success, based on the joint learnings we will standardize the overall solution and ensure that this can be replicated in different locations all across Europe”.