Stena Property’s sustainability work is firmly rooted in the business concept of long-term ownership and development of attractive residential and commercial premises in good locations.

Stena Property is one of Sweden’s largest privately-owned real estate companies, owning and managing 2.4 million m2. The company’s business concept is based on tenancy as the form of tenure. A good availability of rental units facilitates movement in the Swedish residential and employment market. Stena Property’s goal is to help more people obtain housing in the current housing shortage. ­During the next years, the company has the opportunity to build about 5,000 apartments in attractive locations in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, Uppsala, Lomma and Lund. The goal is continuous new construction of at least 500 apartments each year.

Through its own Relationship Management concept (Relationsförvaltning®), the company develops sustainable residential and workplace environments. The purpose is to create involvement and increased responsibility for tenants by allowing them some control over their living environment. In concrete terms, Relationship Management means that Stena Property engages in a number of projects and activities that provide safety, well-being and stability in the residential areas, with a focus on children and young people. Examples of projects include homework help, arts and cultural activities, environmental stewards, planting days and “library in the laundrette”.

Focus on children and young people

In each location, there a relationship manager who runs the work locally. In the period ahead, there will be an increased focus on schools and work for young people. Helping to ensure more young people get a good education, are better equipped for the world of work and obtain employment is extremely important both for the individuals themselves and for society. As part of this focus, 300 young people who live in Stena Property’s homes will be offered summer jobs every year.

Relationship Management has many advantages. For Stena Property, it results in increased value of the property portfolio and lower costs associated with wear and damage. It also contributes to economic and environmental sustainability. Tenants have a safer and more pleasant living environment which provides better quality of life. For the municipality, it brings greater public benefit. Stena Property’s biggest environmental impact is the consumption of electricity, heating and hot water in the premises. Using options such as geothermal heating and solar energy can reduce the environmental impact. The target is to reduce energy consumption in the form of electricity, heating and water by 20% between 2010 and 2020. Since 2010, energy consumption from heating has been reduced by 7.4%, while electricity has fallen by 9.8% and water by 4.5%.

All Stena’s newly built residential properties must be ­certified to silver level under the Swedish Green Building environmental classification system. New construction of commercial properties must also correspond to Green Building requirements. This means that energy consumption must be at least 25% lower than the new construction requirements under Swedish building regulations.

People who live in our areas must be able to feel that we care about them. That’s our fundamental approach.

– Christel Armstrong Darvik, CEO Stena Property

Dialogue model for renovation

In addition to the new construction now in progress, the company is continuously making large reinvestments in the existing portfolio, with a focus on properties that were originally built as public housing around 1970, as part of the “Million” programme. Some properties require significant renovation and in some cases even rebuilding, while others may just need plumbing replacements and upgrading of the bathroom. In order to involve residents in the process, Stena Property has created a ­dialogue model in connection with renovation, rebuilding and new construction in existing areas.

When properties are being renovated or rebuilt, significant energy-efficiency improvements are also made. As many of the properties have reached their technical lifespan for heating and ventilation systems, these are being replaced with more energy-efficient solutions. Other measures that help to reduce energy use include replacement of windows and additional insulation of roofs.

Energy solutions in test houses

A pilot project has been launched in Gothenburg in order to see how about 3,000 apartments built in the 1960 and 1970s can be made more energy ­efficient in the best way. The project is using three test houses to compare different solutions.

The first test house in Askim was completed in October 2013. The house, which is a three-storey building with 34 apartments, has been fitted with a new ventilation system and channels. The new system allows 82% of heat to be recovered, compared with 35% previously.

In 2014, equivalent installations were made in another two test houses.

Reduced electricity consumption

In the Holmen district of Malmö, a large-scale energy-saving project has resulted in a significant reduction in the use of electricity, heating and water. The energy-saving project which was conducted in the 103 apartments includes new ventilation and heating systems.

As the new ventilation system includes heat recovery, it uses only a quarter as much energy as the old one. The apartments have also been equipped with water-saving devices such as low-flow nozzles and perlators that reduce the amount of water by mixing water and air.

Overall, the use of electricity has been reduced by 60%, heating by 25% and water by 14%.

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