Ecological City of Tomorrow Malmo Sweden

A European Commission demonstration project is almost completed in Malmo, comprising a whole new district consisting of housing, shops, offices and other services. It aims to be a zero net energy scheme, with its 11 GWh/year energy demand making no net contribution to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. It is being built on a reclaimed industrial site by the Ribersborg beach and close to the historic centre of Malmo. The project is the first phase of a 10 year programme to make the city of Malmo a model of sustainable regeneration. It formed the centrepiece of an exhibition 'Bo01' held in June 2001 (Figure 19.1) under the direction of Professor Klas Tham.

The objectives of the scheme are to:

• meet 100 per cent of energy needs from renewable sources by providing innovative energy generation plant and distribution systems;

• integrate appropriate technologies like solar, wind, heat pumps and aquifer storage to produce cost-effective clean heat and electricity;

• engage in holistic design procedures involving architects, services designers and builders from inception to completion;

• establish synergy between Malmo's existing electricity and district heating system and the local system.

The district will include 800 homes in a mixture of detached, terraced and apartment dwellings. A canal, harbour, promenade, parks and covered walkways are incorporated into the development.

Energy strategy

A 2 MW wind turbine and 120 m2 of PV cells connected to the grid will account for the area's electricity demand. They will also power a heat pump which will extract heat from underground aquifers and the sea to meet about 83 per cent of district heating requirements. The same aquifer system will store cold water to provide cooling in summer. About 15 per cent of the remaining heat demand will be met by

Bo01 MalmoBo01 City Tomorrow Malmo

Figure 19.1

Model of the 'City of Tomorrow' and the integrated energy system

Figure 19.1

Model of the 'City of Tomorrow' and the integrated energy system

2000 m2 solar collectors. Biogas produced from local waste will meet the remaining 2 per cent of heat requirement. The aim is to keep energy consumption in buildings below 105 kWh/m2 per year. At this rate it should be possible for the inhabitants to maintain the comfort standards to which they have become accustomed. It is worth noting that the Swedes tend to regard 22°C as a minimum level for comfort compared with 18-20°C in the UK. Occupants will have the opportunity to adjust and monitor their energy consumption with the help of IT. All households will be connected to a broadband network equipping them for advanced communication functions such as voice activated systems as well as monitoring management systems.

A biogas digester treats organic waste from the district converting it to fertiliser and producing biogas for heating and vehicle fuel. There is also a plant which extracts energy and nutrients from the sludge from a sewage works.

A 'vacuum refuse chute' extracts organic waste from household refuse. Disposal hatches attached to each property lead to holding tanks from which the waste makes its way to two docking stations at the edge of the site. From there it goes to the biogas digester. All residents receive up-to-date information about waste separation and disposal. The target is to reduce unsorted waste by 80 per cent.

By connecting the renewable generators to Malmo's existing distribution system, the project is assured of security of supply of electricity. Over the year there should be a balance between the district's electricity production and consumption, hence the zero net energy label.

All the buildings are designed to the highest energy efficiency standards, keeping space heating demand to a minimum. The design of buildings and energy systems is integrated under a single management strategy with the whole process being subject to stringent quality control.

Information technology is used not only to regulate the different elements of the energy system but also to inform residents about their energy consumption and allow them a degree of control over their energy management and comfort. Completed at the end of 2001 it forms an appropriate gateway to Sweden situated as it is at the end of the spectacular Oresund bridge and tunnel complex linking the country with Denmark.

Transport is a key factor in any sustainability policy. It is planned to embark on a programme of vehicles powered by environmentally friendly fuels. The public transport system will be adapted accordingly and the pool of cars within the development will include electric and gas powered vehicles. The management vehicles will be electrically powered. There will be charging points for electric vehicles and a station providing natural gas for vehicles.

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