SymbioCity unlocks synergies between urban systems to save resources while driving growth.

Gårdsten, Gothenburg

Rejuvenating a social housing district

The district of Gårdsten was planned during the housing reforms of the 1960’s. For long in desperate need of renovation, Gårdsten today is transformed according to the principles of SymbioCity. Better economy, radically improved environmental performance and better user satisfaction are the major achievements. Resident satisfaction is high and there is a strong demand for apartments.

Wind-generated electricity provides the energy

The Gårdsten district was in great need of upgrading when a new developer was formed in 1997 and bought the just over 2 000 apartments in the district. The transformation undertaken has been based on systematic environmental work, complete from alternative energy sources to recycling solutions. As a result, the company is now self-sufficient in environmentally friendly wind-generated electricity, produced right next to the properties.

New energy solutions – 40% savings

District heating was installed as part of the renovation, and the blocks were given exhaust-air and supply-air systems for ventilation. Solar panels were installed on the balcony-access blocks to supply hot water to the buildings via accumulator tanks in the basement. The balconies were glazed in to protect the outside walls, reduce heat loss and increase their use. In addition, composting machines were installed to convert household waste to soil, which is used in the adjacent greenhouses.

Increased user influence and responsibility for savings 

The extensive renovation project of Solhusen (‘Solar Buildings’) attained an ambitious goal of reducing future maintenance and energy use. The application of modern recycling technologies have both lowered housing costs and lead to improved environmental performance. The tenants can influence their own energy spending through the metering equipment for electricity, heating and water.

An awarded project 

The Solhusen buildings have attracted wide attention both in Sweden and abroad. In 2001 the project won the Swedish Association of Painting Contractors prize for the best painting environment. In 2002 Solhusen was awarded the Great Energy Prize for individual metering, and in 2005 it won the “World Habitat Award” of the Building and Social Housing Foundation.