Växjöhem AB and Midroc Property Development AB form a perfect example of how public and private organisations can work together in order to promote sustainable urban development. The area Välle Broar, located at the heart of Växjö city, represents the future and the modern sustainable city – entirely made up by solid wood constructions. The two companies are also working closely with Linnaeus University, thus successfully integrating an academic perspective to the project.
The initial planning process comprises 200 apartments, interestingly allowing for different types of tenancies and ownerships. The project Vallen is different from traditional construction projects partly because this is about building wooden houses combined with a low energy consumption, and partly because the actual construction is made possible by a collaboration between a council and a private operator.
Tenures and ownerships in the same area
Vallen is a beautiful, lush area in the western part of Välle Broar, between the two lakes Växjösjön and Södra Bergundasjön. The local plans have been developed taking into account the needs and desires of the inhabitants, where strong environmental characteristics are top priority as well as cost-efficient solutions.
“The location is fantastic at the heart of Växjö city, also known as the city of the Seven Lakes. We distinguish our project by allowing for all types of tenancies and ownerships, including condominiums”, Christina Nyquist, CEO of municipality-owned Växjöhem, explains.
The gross area is 21 000 m2, and the project requires a total investment of half a billion SEK. ”There is a sharp focus on energy-efficient solutions and environmentally-friendly concepts throughout the project. We are thinking in terms of a life-cycle perspective where we try to obtain a complete picture of how large the total environmental impact is going to be. Evidently, the total energy consumption for each apartment will be substantially lower than what is stated by the national standard for newly built housing”, Nyquist continues.
Harnessing the advantages of wood as a building material
Project Vallen represents a new way to develop wood construction technology and contribute to a long-term sustainable urban society. Midroc Property Development CEO Magnus Sköld underlines the preliminary objectives of the group: “For us it started with the predecessor Limnologen, a project in which we worked closely with Linnaeus University to ensure that the building methods were adapted to wood construction”.
Sköld explains that for Midroc Property Development, “key aims were partly to refine the methodologies used previously during the project Limnologen, hence seizing the advantages of wood as a building material at large”.
Subsequent investigations have shown that people are generally happier in wooden houses. Appropriately designed, wooden buildings provide good insulation for heat, cold and noise.
High comfort and everything within reach
The Vallen-apartments will have the highest possible standard with tiled bathrooms, wooden floors, and some even double balconies. Communal areas, banquet room, over-night apartments and patios are also planned. Magnus Sköld continues: “We invest in great comfort from the very beginning with dishwashers as well as washers and dryers in every apartment”.
The lakeside location, in combination with the comfort of having everything accessible and close at hand such as recreation, service and shopping, makes Vallen very attractive to potential tenants and home-owners. Communications are also the best possible with Småland Airport within ten minutes by car.
The first comprehensive plan was adopted in 1997. The revised plan allows for construction of high buildings in solid wood, making sustainable urbanisation reality. Midroc and Växjöhem have respectively entered the first stages of selling and renting out the properties at Vallen with remarkable success.