When Hoppet preschool in Gothenburg was due to be built, the City of Gothenburg wanted to set a challenge for the construction industry and encourage change. The city wanted the preschool to be built completely fossil free, with no carbon emissions throughout the building’s entire life cycle from construction to its future use.
The Hoppet, or ‘hope’, preschool is intended as a role model in driving the transition to fossil-free building processes so that Gothenburg can achieve the goal of being an ecologically sustainable city by 2030. The aim is to develop products that enable, and establish a new standard for, fossil-free construction.
Calculating climate impact before construction
The Hoppet preschool was completed by the end of 2021, and welcomes a total of 144 children in eight groups. Measurements taken during the project show that the climate impact of the main building materials is reduced by 70% compared with an equivalent preschool built using traditional methods. This has been achieved through conscious material choices, demonstrating the benefits of calculating the climate impact when making decisions in the planning phase of construction projects.
New collaborations created
With assistance from the EU’s Northern Connection project, 27 suppliers and innovators from five northern European countries were invited to Living Lab Hoppet in Gothenburg to provide presentations and network around the common goal of fossil-free construction. Many of these solutions have already been used in the project and more may be applied, contributing to a switch towards fossil-free construction.
Smart choice of materials
To create a fossil-free preschool, the project has meticulously mapped the CO2 generated at all stages of construction. Low-carbon materials have been chosen without compromising on the requirements for an inviting preschool for children. Wood in the exterior walls was sourced from the municipality’s forestry operations. Several products in the building and the outdoor environment have been reused. The preschool’s administration is also trying to find reused interior furniture from the city’s existing stock.
The broad use of innovative environmental solutions for a sustainable future has generated interest in the project and led to two awards:
• Third place in World Architecture News’ WAN Awards 2020 in the category of educational future projects; and
• Third place in the Rethinking the Future Awards 2021 in the category of sustainable construction project of the year.
• Winner in the Swedish Design Awards by RUM
Picture: LINK Arkitekter