World’s first net zero logistics facility

By Mike Hayes08 November 2022

Investment company Nordic Real Estate Partners (NREP) has revealed plans to build the world’s first net zero logistics facility in Bålsta, Sweden.

An impression of the proposed NREP logistics facility in Bålsta, Sweden. Image: NREP

According to NREP, the building will achieve 100% carbon neutrality over the course of its lifecycle and across both operational and embodied carbon, without the need for carbon offsetting.

The firm says it will do this through means including the use of cross-laminated timber for the structure and facades, as well as organic insulation that binds more CO2 than it emits during the production process.

Green cement, promising a 30% reduction from standard cement, will be used in the foundations of the facility.

Ultimately, the facility’s lifecycle carbon emissions will be reduced to net zero via a disassembly design principle, incorporating the reuse of its biogenic materials, including the timber structure.

From an operational perspective, the building will use 100% renewable green electricity, and NREP says it even has the potential to become “energy positive”, using solar, heat pump and battery storage solutions, that could send surplus energy back to the grid.

Claus Mathisen, CEO of NREP, said, “We have collaborated with the industry’s leading innovators to push new boundaries and deliver the world’s greenest logistics development. Drawing from the most advanced products available, this project will be a test bed for emerging solutions, creating a whole new, commercially viable paradigm in carbon neutral real estate.

“This project is a great example of how to convert insights into real actions, now. And it demonstrates that doing the right thing is also good business. A property like this one will attract better financing and more customers.

“As a business, we believe decarbonising is a superior business approach. This prototype shows what is already possible today, and we hope that others will soon follow, enabling the scale-up of green solutions and bringing down costs.”

The logistics facility represents the first of three ‘earthshot’ projects launched by NREP, with the second being a residential development and the third an office retrofit.

Victoria Burrows, director of the World Green Building Council’s Advancing Net Zero programme, said, “The goal of decarbonising the entire built environment is monumental and something that cannot be achieved alone.

“We need strong leadership from companies like NREP who are taking urgent and innovative action to explore what solutions are possible today, to get us closer to a carbon neutral future.”

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