Climate and Energy

Sustainability is one of NCC’s leading focus areas. One way that we help to reduce the impact on the climate, is to involve ourselves in driving the industry towards more energy efficient buildings.

There are many factors that affect how much energy a building uses. The design of the building, the way it is managed and the behavior of its users play a vital role in energy use.

Energy focus throughout the process

Since there are so many different factors that affect energy consumption over time, NCC is working on energy efficiencies from the design phase to the management phase.

Focusing on the energy issue throughout the construction process creates good conditions for the building to display the intended energy use during the operational phase. Our customers can thus also be confident that both the financial and environmental targets will be achieved. Low energy use not only brings operational costs down, but also makes them less sensitive to energy price rises.

Energy-efficient buildings in practice

So what does it take to design an energy-efficient building? There are various ways to achieve lower energy consumption, but the overall requirements in our working process always include a good indoor environment and simple operation and maintenance, with a focus on the intended activity in the building. NCC's first objective is always to reduce energy losses. This can be achieved via passive solutions which create a well insulated building envelope and limit the loss of heat. We base this on the Kyoto pyramid:

  1. Reduce demand for heating and cooling
  2. Ensure efficient electricity use
  3. Use solar energy
  4. Show and control energy consumption
  5. Select energy source

Starting at the base of the pyramid, the first phase involves minimizing heat losses through the building envelope. This gives the property owner a building with a low demand for heating over a long period, even if the installations have to be replaced at a later date. In the next step, we choose installations with low energy consumption. We then exploit any opportunities to use solar energy. Next, we consider how we can encourage energy-efficient behavior in the building’s users. And last but not least, an energy source is chosen that is tailored to the remaining low energy requirements. Naturally, the first choice should be renewable energy.

Customers objectives govern energy choice

NCC has a large number of tools and a broad bank of experience when it comes to designing energy-efficient buildings, but the customer's ambitions and objectives always govern the final choice.

Do you know what energy performance you are looking to achieve, and what this will mean for future costs? Talk to NCC about which solution suits you best, as we have extensive experience of analyzing these issues from an energy, climate and profitability perspective.

We'll help you to set energy requirements

Developers are increasingly setting higher energy requirements than are specified in the building regulations. NCC is pleased to see that more players want to get involved in the trend towards more energy-efficient construction. By setting higher energy requirements, we can reduce the environmental impact and cut energy costs.

However, setting energy requirements can be complex. As a customer, it is vital that you are clear about your energy requirements, as otherwise you risk receiving a variety of quotations that are difficult to compare. It can then be tough to judge the different alternatives, and in the worst case you won't get what you (think you) ordered.

To facilitate the process of setting energy requirements, we've drawn up a short guide below. More extensive support on setting requirements can be found in the Sveby checklist for developers, which is a good starting point for energy requirements for buildings.

1. Clearly define what is included in the energy performance requirement (heating, hot water, cooling, property energy, activity energy).
2. Refer to Sveby and use the definitions in Boverket's building regulations.
3. Make use of existing energy and environmental certification systems. But ensure that there are no contradictory requirements.
4. Monitor your requirements by taking measurements.
5. If the requirement is based on a theoretical calculation, as the developer you must define a large amount of input data and have the competence to be able to compare the calculations.
6. Define the consequences if the energy requirement is not fulfilled.

Here at NCC we are proud to lead the industry on the energy front, all the way from energy calculations to follow-up. Since we measure the energy use in all completed buildings (for which we are the turnkey contractor) and compare it with calculated values, we have a level of competence in energy calculations that few others in the industry can match.