Cold in the winter and hot and stuffy in the summer. The work environment in Södra huset has been a source of dissatisfaction among the University’s students and staff for many years, but this is now about to improve. The property owner Akademiska Hus has decided to invest SEK 48 million into a project to save energy and improve the indoor climate in Södra huset after an investigation identified 14 points that should be addressed.

At the top of the list is replacing the windows. The building’s nearly 6,000 windows are actually not in bad condition, says Martin Sandelin, who is responsible for Södra huset at Akademiska Hus. However, they are of an older type that causes downdraughts of cold air in the winter, while letting in too much heat in the summer, making the rooms unnecessarily hot. New types of window glass can reduce heat leakage through the windows, while preventing more heat from coming in from outside in the summer.

Easy to replace the windows

Akademiska Hus has already replaced the windows in two rooms at the top of the A house. This has had good results, both in terms of energy use and indoor temperature, according to Martin Sandelin. He also describes the change of windows as relatively “painless”. The window frame is removed and a new window package is installed. This takes about one or two hours per window.

The work on replacing the windows will commence in the spring of 2015. A total of 5,555 windows are going to be replaced (some windows have already been replaced), and the work is expected to be completed in 2016. Planning is currently underway for window replacements and the other thirteen measures for Södra huset.

More modern lighting is one of these measures. The ceiling lights in the hallways have already been replaced and given motion sensors so that they turn off when no one is in the room. Now, it is time for the ceiling lights in offices and other rooms to be replaced and provided with occupancy sensors.

New ventilation system

Replacing the ventilation system with new fans, pumps, and control systems is another important measure. Replacing the control systems, which has already been done, should make it possible to quickly detect malfunctions and avoid extensive downtime.

A couple of other measures include mounting solar panels on the roof of Södra huset and finding a way to reduce heat leakage from the entrance doors on the fourth floor of the A house.

These investments are expected to result in energy savings of about 3,700 MWh/year, which correspond to a 30-35 per cent reduction in total energy consumption.   Carbon emissions are expected to decrease by half, which corresponds to a reduction of 200 tonnes per year. All measures are expected to be completed in the autumn of 2017.