North Sweden Cleantech

Umeå Neighbourhood Integrates All Aspects of Sustainable Urban Development

Sustainable Ålidhem in Umeå is a unique urban development project, encompassing the social, technical, environmental and economic aspects of sustainability. The objective of the project is to reduce energy usage, create a safer and more comfortable environment and transform Ålidhem into a sustainable neighbourhood.

Ålidhem is a district of the city of Umeå, and Sustainable Ålidhem is an ambitious, wide-ranging project for sustainable urban development. Its main goal is to halve energy usage in the area. In its Matematikgränd and Geografigränd areas, photovoltaic (PV) cells have been installed on roofs by public housing company Bostaden and energy company Umeå Energi. These 2,650 square metres of PV cells generate around 350,000 kWh of electricity a year.

New ventilation and heat recovery

Sustainable Ålidhem includes about 542 apartments, 137 of which have been recently built. The buildings are equipped with new ventilation systems, heat recovery and energy efficient LED lights. Individual metering and billing of electricity and hot and cold water has also been installed in the new apartments. Umeå has a cold climate, but district heating in the area is well developed and is currently 99 percent fossil-free. To further reduce energy use, washing machines in the buildings have been connected to the district heating system in an innovative use of the system.

The Winter Garden

The Winter Garden is a green, multipurpose meeting space. It has beautiful greenery on the inside, a soft carpet of sedum on the roof and the entire garden has been designed with an emphasis on sustainability. The indoor temperature is kept comfortable with reused return heat from the low-energy buildings next door, while the electricity used in the Winter Garden is produced by PV cells on the roof of the adjacent building. A display shows the consumption of hot water and energy in real time. All buildings in the neighbourhood are built to use a maximum of 65 kWh/m2/year.

Space for opportunity

The Winter Garden is an energy-efficient venue for use primarily by the residents of the newly built neighbourhood and the surrounding area. Here, visitors can enjoy a beautiful environment as well as technology such as wireless internet access and five different screens, provided by housing company Bostaden. This makes the garden a meeting point and a place for many different activities for residents.


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