Polygon appointed to coordinate the environmental certification of new Life Science Centre, Forskaren.

The construction of Sweden’s new life science centre has begun at the Vectura office in Stockholm. Polygon | AK will collaborate with Vectura's own environmental managers to achieve environmental certification in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and WELL (Building Standard - Health-Safety seal). As an Accredited Professional (AP), Polygon will coordinate documentation of the 24,000 sqm round building, Forskaren, to achieve the highest available ratings for the venue.

Sustainability and environmental thinking are of paramount importance to the property owners at Vectura. The concept of the building is to become Stockholm's 'living room', a place for public enjoyment and business use, that will be open seven days a week. The building, which looks like an upside-down cake, will include the Technical Museum's new branch, flexible offices for 1,700 people, smart-food restaurants, co-working areas, and exhibition space. All activities will be focused on life science, and this new building will become an arena for the exchange of ideas, knowledge, research, and collaboration between companies.

Project managers from Vectura and Polygon | AK have previously collaborated on successful projects. In February 2020, successful collaboration led to Polygon | AK commencing work on specifying goals and requirements for the building authority, based on the overall goals formulated in a feasibility study for a hospital.

Why is the building being certified?

“The construction and real estate sector accounts for approximately 19% of Sweden's total CO₂ emissions. Vectura's vision to become a leader in climate and circularity certification is an important fundamental factor in ensuring a high level of sustainable real estate. They have chosen to certify the building to both LEED and WELL standards. WELL is focused on health, well-being and the property's soft values, while LEED sets relevant requirements for the building that match the company's environmental goals. Choosing the highest level of certification, LEED Platinum and WELL Gold, is good for the building's brand, but is also something that creates pride in the project and in its future users,” says Maria Nordberg, Head of Sustainability Services at Polygon | AK.

Certification considerations

Certification should be an integral part of the construction process, preferably from the initial program documentation stage, or earlier. It is advisable to hire an environmental consultant who can ensure that the project's environmental goals permeate choices from the outset. This is both time- and cost-effective as it can be difficult and costly to "correct afterwards". In the long run, it pays to spend time and money initially on investigating a project's conditions.

“Remember to make specification choices that will add value to a project and its future users, not just for visual aesthetics at the time. Sustainability is a quality issue now, and will continue to be in the future," Maria concludes.

Construction company, Zengun, is responsible for this project with the expectation of completion in 2023/2024.

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