New Preschool In Östersund To Be 1st Fully Electrified Construction Site In EU

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A municipality in Sweden will soon be getting a new preschool, and the cool thing is that it will be built using only electric machinery. Coincidently, the emission-free workplace will be the first electrified construction site in the EU.

Located in Östersund, the current Ottfjället preschool consists of 3 departments, with room for 54 children. To expand, they decided to build a new facility. Once construction is completed, the new preschool will be able to accommodate 144 children, almost three times the current location.

Östersund, Sweden
Ottfjället preschool in Östersund, Sweden. Photo courtesy Fossil-Free Sweden

The new project will be made possible with collaboration between the Östersund municipality, Fossilfritt (Fossil Free) Sweden, Volvo Construction Equipment, and Skanska, a large construction company in Sweden.

The project is part of the Climate Leaders municipalities initiative, which Fossil-Free Sweden is coordinating with six municipalities. The project’s objective is to speed up the transition from fossil fuels by introducing climate standards into public procurement. The municipality of Östersund has established procurement criteria for an emission-free workplace at the Ottfjället preschool after identifying the electrification of work equipment as an area with significant development potential.

“This is the first procurement where we have been required to create an emission-free workplace, which is an exciting challenge. All work machines inside the fence around the workplace must be powered by electricity as far as possible. This project is really at the forefront and it is an important step for our continued climate journey. A great opportunity to contribute to the technological development of work machines,” says Sara Gorton, Director of Sustainability and Innovation, Skanska Sweden AB.

To have an emission-free workplace requires that all work equipment to be electrically powered inside a construction fence. According to preliminary research done by Skanska, roughly 95 percent of the work equipment will be electric, which will minimize emissions by about 64 tons of CO2 in comparison to fossil-fueled equipment.

“We have ambitious climate goals for the municipality of Östersund and this project is important for us to be able to reach them. We want to be a climate leader and be at the forefront of the green transition. Through this construction, we show that conversion from fossil to electrified is possible when we build preschools,” says municipal councilor Effie Kourlos (C).

Some of the goals that the municipality of Östersund has set for itself are to be climate-neutral, fossil-free, and energy-efficient by 2030, and that the Östersund’s municipal organization must be fossil-free and energy efficient by 2025. Östersund is located in the middle of Sweden. It is the largest city in the county of Jämtland and has a population of around 50,000 people.

Östersund is known for its beautiful natural scenery, including nearby Lake Storsjön, which is the fifth-largest lake in Sweden. Östersund is also famous for its winter sports, with many skiing and snowboarding opportunities in the area. Back in 2020, Tesla even hosted its “Tesla Winter Driving Experience” in Östersund, bringing both the Model 3 and Model S to the frozen Storsjön Lake for a bit of slippery driving fun on the lake.

“This is an inspiring project where the main focus has been to show that an emission-free construction site is already possible today. We hope that this leads to more players becoming aware of the possibility of fossil-free solutions in the construction sector,” says Fredrik Tjernström, responsible for Electromobility Solutions Sales at Volvo CE. Around 20% of all emissions in Sweden come from the construction and real estate industry, and a significant part of that comes from work machinery.

“It is extremely gratifying that we have come so far in the development of electrified work machines that we can now start the first emission-free construction site in the EU. Now we are rolling up our sleeves so that this will be the first of many future electrified construction sites around Sweden,” says Svante Axelsson, national coordinator for Fossil-free Sweden.

Construction is planned to start in June 2023, with completion of the preschool in late autumn 2024.

Source: fossilfrittsverige

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