Lower costs and emissions with reuse

In Uppsala, White is working on a project to transform two 1970s office buildings into modern premises that meet present-day requirements, while at the same time preserving or recycling as many of the original materials as possible. This is expected to save over SEK 100 million, as well as 3,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and almost two years of construction compared to demolition and building anew.

“Recycling is no obstacle to creative architecture and attractive environments; on the contrary, we can achieve more in our projects if we make use of existing resources. When executed well, recycling is an opportunity to create good architecture at a lower cost and reduced burden on the environment,” says Anders Tväråna, lead architect at White.

The buildings in the district have long been viewed as a barrier across the city and strong opinions have been raised that they should be demolished and replaced. While this was long seen as the best alternative, an about-turn some 18-months ago led to a rethink. White Arkitekter joined the project and began to study possibilities for saving as much as possible of the existing buildings and recycling anything that did need to be demolished.

Recycling is an opportunity to create good architecture at a lower cost and reduced burden on the environment.

The current proposal involves dismantling a number of buildings and some new construction; however, large parts of the complex will be saved and renovated to create a new coherent urban district together with a new timber building. As little as possible will be discarded; all building elements will be inventoried and dismantled for reuse. The goal is to achieve 100% recycling – everything that can be reused will be reused.

For the property owner, this will actually be cost-effective in both the short and long terms. Construction time will be reduced, meaning that tenants can move in earlier and revenue will resume more quickly. Sustainable premises are also far more attractive on the market, where many customers are demanding offices with a clear environmental profile that makes them easier to let.

Compared to demolition and building anew, renovating and extending the office buildings can:

• Be completed two years earlier.
• Save SEK 180 million.
• Save 3,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

White Arkitektur has performed detailed calculations to demonstrate that the climate impact of the office buildings will be significantly lower with an ambitious level of recycling. Our calculations also show significant savings on construction costs. Using creative solutions, it will also be possible to shape an attractive office environment despite the old frame, the dimensions of which differ from modern designs. The facade will receive a facelift with larger windows and improved insulation and the adjustment of certain joists and a smarter plan for installations will allow for higher ceilings.

In total, over 15,000 m2 of attractive, modern premises will be created at a significantly lower cost and carbon footprint than would be required for a new building.


Contact Person

Anders Tväråna

Anders Tväråna

Architect, Office management


+46 18 18 38 57

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