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Platinum Scoring in LEED - Energy Efficiency the Swedish Way

Posted by Annette Leahy on Fri, Oct 24, 2014


More from the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, with news and updates on important topics from the event, (day 2)...

My first session today was very interesting. It was titled:

How to score Platinum in LEED - Energy Efficient projects in Sweden

LEED Energy EfficiencySweden is doing great things in the realm of energy efficiency, with a goal of all buildings being at nearly zero energy by the year 2020.

BBR Swedish Building Code

New builds and renovations/extensions are subject to the rules set out in the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning's building code, BBR. It sets out a number of requirements with which the finished building must comply. The party erecting the building, usually the property owner, is responsible for ensuring compliance with the provisions. The Planning Department in the relevant municipality shall also ensure that there is compliance. (ref:

The BBR Swedish Building Code places restrictions on energy performance for buildings heated with electricity - with fixed limits on energy use and more stringent performance requirements. There are no specific details in the code on how to accomplish these goals, which are different from ASHRAE standards in the USA.

Requirements are set with the effect of ensuring that mandatory energy calculations are performed at the planning stage and that energy performance is verified by measurements within 24 months of building completion. This is a major change from the previous codes.

Currently 90% of Swedish LEED buildings score LEED gold or better, (compared to 44% in the United States), with 25% scoring LEED Platinum, (4% in the United States.)

To date, two of the top ten greenest cities in the world are in Sweden. Here are the top 10 ways to score well in Sweden in energy efficiency:

  1. set goals: energy efficiency, LEED certification levels, such as platinum
  2. get all participating parties involved
  3. follow up on goals through design, construction and occupancy
  4. well insulated envelope
  5. air tight construction - several tests
  6. heat recovery in ventilation system
  7. energy efficient equipment
  8. renewable energy
  9. automation and monitoring
  10. commissioning and M&V

These are not earth-shattering ideas, but the fact that they do these things as standard practice is what makes the difference.

Key takeaways from today's Greenbuild session:

When Sweden was faced with the fossil fuel energy crisis in the early 1970's, they shifted their energy sources away from fossil fuels, and changed / improved their efficiency in energy use countrywide.

What was the USA response to and since the energy crisis in the early 1970's?

Are we 30-40 years behind where we could have been?

More to come, from the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in New Orleans!

Michael Carlson

Topics: LEED, Energy Efficiency


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