Sunday, February 27, 2011

Blå Jungfrun, Sweden

Blå Jungfrun, Sweden
Blå Jungfrun is located in Stockholm Sweden and is an energy efficient apartment project that was built in accordance with passive house standards with proven conventional construction techniques.


The building situated between Farsta and Hökarängen This is approximately 10 km south of central Stockholm. The project consists of numerous buildings which are all of passive design. There are four buildings in total which are 5 and 6-storeys high. The project was constructed by Skanska Sweden construction at a total cost of US$ 18 million. The projected was completed in late 2010. The apartment buildings were constructed with prefabricated frame structures and prefabricated concrete wall sections that were cast and covered with a plastic insulation façade on site.

Blå Jungfrun made history as it was the first high-rise public rental apartment development in Stockholm to be constructed according to Swedish passive house standards. After completion each rented apartment consumes less than half the energy of a conventional Swedish apartment building due to the reduced need for space heating.

Materials used

To comply with the strict passive standards the materials used during construction along with the construction methods are of great importance. The exterior walls of the project were insulated with expanded polystyrene. This insulation is a very lightweight, non-toxic material that consists of 98 percent air and is free from Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other harmful gases. Each and every construction material used had to comply with Skanska’s chemical database. This also included the indoor paint, which was certified according to the EU Flower ecolabel.
In all there were 15 000 tons of concrete used throughout the project. The project was sourced from Skanska´s own concrete plant, around 10 km from the site. Swedish wood and steel was also used on the project to ensure its sustainability.

Construction Methods

The minimisation of environmental impacts during construction is a major area during passive construction and it was no different in this project. The construction site was certified according to Skanska’s internal Green Workplace (GrönArbetsplats) environmental management system, April 2010 68CS : V4 which is aligned with Skanska Sweden’s ISO 14001 certification. In simple terms this meant strict working conditions;  higher emission standards for site machinery, energy efficient indoor and outdoor site lighting, and stricter standards for chemicals and waste management to name a few. Throughout this project the energy use itself was continuously noted.

Waste management was also a great concern in order to comply with passive regulations. Any waste developed on site was sorted on site and recycled at appropriate local recycling facilities and 95 percent of project waste had been recycled as of March 2010. Reduction of waste also played a large role in waste management. This was implemented by the use prefabricated structures that were manufactured off-site. Prefabrication is also an efficent way to speed up construction which is also environmentally positive.
The Blå Jungfrun project cost effectively met Swedish passive house standards through the inventive use of proven construction techniques. There is consequently potential for other projects to reach Swedish passive house standards by using conventional construction techniques in a similar manner.


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  2. Lukeen great job, how did they incorporate a mechanical heat recovery ventilation system into the buildings and where was the plant rooms situated??

  3. Hi Luke. Any details of the main elements i.e. is it reinforced insitu concrete with external insulation. Also are the balconies thermally seperated from the main building envelope?

  4. Very good Luke, Obviously this project, as you highlighted, had a high emphasis on sustainability during construction. I am just wondering when you stated "To comply with the strict passive standard" in relation to sustainability was this increased sustainability from a contractors perspective or is it in compliance with the German passive, or in this case Swedish passive house standards, and does this high sustainability occur in all EU states during Passive construction.
    You stated "Blå Jungfrun was built in accordance with passive house standards with proven conventional construction techniques" Is the apartment block certified Passive?

  5. Hey Lukeen, certainly a very interesting case study and quite a significant project in terms of size. Just a few questions regarding this development, in terms of the cost of the project I was just wondering how the apartments compare in terms of cost. How much more would they cost in comparison to a normal Swedish apartment of the same size. We often here mentioned that to construct a Passive House the costs are typically 10-12% or even sometimes 15% higher than that of a traditional build. Is it true to say that this is the same for purchasing a Passive House or apartment in this case?
    Another area which was interesting to see in this project was the constant monitoring of the energy usage and the great concern for waste management which was adopted during this development. It is great to see this approach being also incorporated as it adds a further boost to the Environmental aspect of the Passive House. It is these advances that will have to be incorporated into the method in the future in order for the Passive House to continue to progress and try to become Zero Carbon also. This is inevitably the next step in improving the Passive House but did these elements add any further cost to the potential buyers, e.g. were the apartments advertised as being ‘More Passive’ or more environmentally friendly than others, with the price being therefore environmentally friendly.
    Shane Kelly