Surpassing Energy Targets through Efficient Public Buildings

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New life for old Brogården

Brogården at the first look is a common housing estate just the same as many others. However, it is on the tongues of whole energy-efficient Europe. The reason for this is a complete renovation which brought this corner of a small town in the middle of Sweden to the twenty-first-century standards of energy efficiency.

The project which was undertaken in Alingsås in the province of Västra Götaland concerned 299 apartments distributed among 16 buildings with 3-4 floors. The scale of the modernization has guaranteed both the uniqueness of the project and the low cost of retrofitting buildings.

Housing of Brogården are typical of the era when they were built, that is seventies of twentieth century, featuring gable roofs and simple facades made of yellow brick. All of them also have a balcony or patio what brings problems with drafts and cold bridges leading to high energy consumption and a poor indoor climate. All of these had to be solved in order to make those buildings passive.

The exterior walls of the houses’ longer sides have been completely replaced with new ones, windows, and doors that feature improved, modern insulation. The original inset balconies had been replaced with new balconies mounted in line with the facade. This solution maintained the architectural outline of the house while simultaneously solved problems with thermal bridging and drafts. What is important the project had a positive impact not only on energy efficiency of buildings, but also on their functionality with new elevators and larger floor area. And construction costs are expected to be recuperated through lower operating costs within the next 6-10 years.

“Through the retrofit the buildings in Brogården have been granted a new, sustainable life. The success factors have been a sustainable and holistic approach and a work process where people with many different skills have contributed to the end result” – explains Ing-Marie Odegren, Chief Executive Officer of AB Alingsåshem, the municipal housing company in Alingsås responsible for the project.

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