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GoCo House: A unique hybrid frame and the world's first electric pole crane to reduce environmental impacts

The construction of GoCo Health Innovations City’s signature building, GoCo House, is progressing. When ready, it will offer something unique. It will be a building not only offering the comfort of extensive services and proximity to other actors in Life Sciences, but also an environment characterized by creativity.

A holistic sustainability mindset is key, to build for the future and actively minimize the environmental impact. For GoCo, which is equally owned by Vectura and Next Step, there is a strong focus on finding innovative and sustainable solutions.

In the construction of the eight-story high GoCo House, it was an obvious choice use a frame with low CO2 emissions. Traditionally, the frame for a building of this dimension is built in a combination of concrete and steel, which puts strain on the environment. However, using wood has may benefits. From a sustainability perspective, wood has a lower CO2 emission and assist in creating an even atmospheric humidity and temperature. Wood also creates a warm and snug environment. In Sweden, the wood asset is close to unlimited. Constructing in wood is necessary to reach the national climate target in the transformation to a sustainable society.

In constructing GoCo House the solution instead became a unique frame, a hybrid between concrete high-density fibreboard (HDF), and beams and columns in glulam. The environmental benefits of the hybrid frame are primarily in the concrete which contains cement that is normally used is replaced by wood with low CO2 emissions. The production of cement is energy-intensive and releases large amounts of CO2. A result from the choice of the hybrid frame is therefore a lesser environmental footprint.

- We want to take every opportunity to reduce the environmental footprint in all construction work in GoCo. The hybrid frame is one part, but we also review, for example, material selection, transports and energy choices, says Anna Eckerstig, project development manager for GoCo Health Innovation City

During the construction of the next block, lot H, in GoCo, the construction contractor BRA Bygg had the opportunity to test the world's first fully electric pole crane, the PMx2e, through the subcontractor Aarsleff Ground Engineering AB. Equipped with two 396 kWh battery packs and a 266 kW electric power station, the machine can be used continuously for eight to ten hours. The use of the pole crane is estimated to save 35,000 kg of carbon dioxide and 14,000 liters of diesel per year, which minimize environmental impacts

- For us, it was an easy choice to try the electric pole crane when the opportunity was offered through our subcontractor. The most important benefit is to avoid local CO2 emissions and to reduce noise. After three and a half weeks of daily poling, we can see that it has worked exceedingly well and poles with more power than a traditional poling crane, says Krister Enesten, project manager of BRA Bygg

Another example efforts to minimize the environmental impact is that all subcontractors to BRA Bygg have accepted that all transports during the construction will run on HVO100, a replacement for diesel that reduces emissions by approx. 90 percent.

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