News: Architecture and Civil Engineering, Arkitektur, Bygg- och miljöteknik related to Chalmers University of TechnologyWed, 16 Jun 2021 16:18:48 +0200 students in digital master's thesis exhibition<p><b>​The exhibition where the master's students from the Architect program presents their work can for the second year in a row be found online – a format that favors the digital expression and processes under which the degree projects have taken shape. This year's graduation projects shows great span and creativity. Take part of the presentations and see the exhibition in full! </b></p>​The public and open seminars where master's students of 2021 from <span>the Architect program<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span> present their final projects starts May 31 and goes on until June 3, and all presentations/examinations <a href="/en/departments/ace/news/Documents/ACEX35%202021_OPEN%20SEMINAR_public%20schedule.pdf">can be followed digitally.</a> The digital format also means that the exhibition, which normally would be experienced live on campus Johanneberg, is open for a longer period on the exhibition's web: <a href=""></a>. <br /><br />This year's final exhibition has no specific theme, but Naima Callenberg, Artistic lecturer at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering and curator of the exhibition, believes that it is clear that the pandemic have left its marks on the projects as they to a greater are extent digitally produced than previous years as a result of the restrictions. <br /><br />    – Despite the situation, it is still very nice to see that the digital expression and processes are well suited to appear on a digital platform as we set up on our exhibition website, says Naima. <br /><br />The degree projects show a large width and several of them have a strong connection to the sustainable development of society, from both ecological, economic and social aspects.<br /><br />   – That is an important part of the education which is often reflected in the master's theses from Chalmers architecture – which we are proud of. Our students are committed, critical, analytical and creative, and during this in many aspects tough semester, they have put mcuh effort and hard work in their projects. The way they contribute to our education and the architecture field and its discussions at large is amazing, says Naima Callenberg. <br /><br /><em>In this year's digital final exhibition, degree projects from the two master programs Architecture and Planning Beyond Sustainability and Architecture and Urban Design </em><span><em>are presented </em><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><em>. The master's students' projects will soon also be joined by bachelor's theses that will appear on the exhibition website as of June 2.  </em>Mon, 31 May 2021 00:00:00 +0200 first rechargeable cement-based batteries<p><b>​Imagine an entire twenty storey concrete building which can store energy like a giant battery. Thanks to unique research from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, such a vision could someday be a reality. Researchers from the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering recently published an article outlining a new concept for rechargeable batteries – made of cement.</b></p><div>​The ever-growing need for sustainable building materials poses great challenges for researchers. Doctor <a href="" title="Emma" target="_blank">Emma Zhang</a>, formerly of Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, joined <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/luping-tang.aspx" target="_blank" title="Tang">Professor Luping Tang’s</a> research group several years ago to search for the building materials of the future. Together they have now succeeded in developing a world-first concept for a rechargeable cement-based battery.    </div> <div> </div> <div>The concept involves first a cement-based mixture, with small amounts of short carbon fibres added to increase the conductivity and flexural toughness. Then, embedded within the mixture is a metal-coated carbon fibre mesh – iron for the anode, and nickel for the cathode. After much experimentation, this is the prototype which the researchers now present.    </div> <div> </div> <div>   – Results from earlier studies investigating concrete battery technology showed very low performance, so we realised we had to think out of the box, to come up with another way to produce the electrode. This particular idea that we have developed – which is also rechargeable – has never been explored before. Now we have proof of concept at lab scale,” Emma Zhang explains.    </div> <div> </div> <div>Luping Tang and Emma Zhang’s research has produced a rechargeable cement-based battery with an average energy density of 7 Watthours per square metre (or 0.8 Watthours per litre). Energy density is used to express the capacity of the battery, and a modest estimate is that the performance of the new Chalmers battery could be more than ten times that of earlier attempts at concrete batteries. The energy density is still low in comparison to commercial batteries, but this limitation could be overcome thanks to the huge volume at which the battery could be constructed when used in buildings.     </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">A potential key to solving energy storage issues     </h2> <div> </div> <div>The fact that the battery is rechargeable is its most important quality, and the possibilities for utilisation if the concept is further developed and commercialised are almost staggering.Energy storage is an obvious possiblity, monitoring is another. The researchers see applications that could range from powering LEDs, providing 4G connections in remote areas, or cathodic protection against corrosion in concrete infrastructure.   </div> <div> </div> <div>   – It could also be coupled with solar cell panels for example, to provide electricity and become the energy source for monitoring systems in highways or bridges, where sensors operated by a concrete battery could detect cracking or corrosion,” suggests Emma Zhang.   </div> <div> </div> <div>The concept of using structures and buildings in this way could be revolutionary, because it would offer an alternative solution to the energy crisis, by providing a large volume of energy storage.   Concrete, which is formed by mixing cement with other ingredients, is the world’s most commonly used building material. From a sustainability perspective, it is far from ideal, but the potential to add functionality to it could offer a new dimension. Emma Zhang comments:  </div> <div> </div>    – We have a vision that in the future this technology could allow for whole sections of multi-storey buildings made of functional concrete. Considering that any concrete surface could have a layer of this electrode embedded, we are talking about enormous volumes of functional concrete”.  <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Challenges remain with service-life aspects  </h2> <div> </div> <div>The idea is still at a very early stage. The technical questions remaining to be solved before commercialisation of the technique can be a reality include extending the service life of the battery, and the development of recycling techniques.   </div> <div> </div> <div>   – Since concrete infrastructure is usually built to last fifty or even a hundred years, the batteries would need to be refined to match this, or to be easier to exchange and recycle when their service life is over. For now, this offers a major challenge from a technical point of view,” says Emma Zhang.  </div> <div> </div> <div>But the researchers are hopeful that their innovation has a lot to offer. </div> <div> <br />   – We are convinced this concept makes for a great contribution to allowing future building materials to have additional functions such as renewable energy sources,” concludes Luping Tang. <br /><br /><span><em>Text: Catharina Björk<span style="display:inline-block"></span></em></span>    </div> <div> </div> <div><a href="">Read the scientific article, Rechargeable Concrete Battery in the scientific journal Buildings</a>.   <br /><em>The research project was funded by the Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten)  <br /></em></div> <div><em><br /></em></div> <div><strong>Luping Tang</strong>  <br />Professor at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology  +46 31 772 2305  <br /><br /><strong>Emma Qingnan Zhang  </strong><br />Doctor, formerly of the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, now Senior Development Scientist at Delta of Sweden.  <br />   +46 768 80 35 33  <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><em></em><br /><em></em></div>Mon, 17 May 2021 00:00:00 +0200 that contributes to sustainable emergency readiness <p><b>​A tool that enables sustainable planning of maintenance and renovation measures in apartment buildings, and a model for Demand Response and estimation of capacity for egenrgy storage in supermarkets – those are innovations that contribute sustainability and resilience for Sweden, and hence places ACE researchers on the IVA 100 list of 2021.</b></p><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">​<br />SINOM: A platform for strategic maintenance and renovation planning of housing portfolios  </h2> <div>Researchers Claudio Nägeli and Abolfazl ”Amir” Farahani have developed a desktop tool to make it easy for housing owners to make financially feasible and long-term maintenance and renovation plans.  The unique optimization algorithm of the tool enables the user to create perennial plans for maintenance and renovation, forecast the energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions and to keep track of building components and service-life. The tool Sinom is not only welcomed by housing owners, this unique concepts has granted the researchers a spot on the IVA (Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences) 100 list of 2021: “From knowledge to sustainable emergency readiness”.    </div> <div> </div> <div>   – What we strive for as researchers is for our results to be utilized and create value, for people in their everyday life and for the environment. So, an acknowledgement like this from the IVA feels very positive, says Claudio Nägeli.      </div> <div> </div> <div>The Swedish building stock is relatively old and in need of extensive renovation measures in order to meet today´s building standards and targets for energy performance improvements. Having limited resources, housing owners face a difficult situation in planning for maintenance and renovation, which often lead to measures being postponed, resulting in an even worse situation when improvements aren’t executed in time. This is where Claudio Nägeli’s and Abolfazl Farahani’s tool comes in. The name Sinom is a wink to the Swedish phrase” i sinom tid” (in due time) which captures both short-term needs and the proactive and long-term approach that the researchers want the tool to contribute its users with, by the distinct visualization and incorporation of future needs and objectives presented in the tool.    </div> <div> </div> <div>   – For housing owners the use of the Sinom tool will mean help working proactively and to prioritize measures in line with budgetary preconditions. And for residents, they might experience that improvements actually are being executed in time, without too big of an increase in rent, says Claudio Nägeli.    </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">About Sinom and the researchers  </h3> <div><strong>Claudio Nägeli</strong> is a postdoc at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Division of Building Technology. He has a doctorate from 2019. His doctoral thesis: <a href="">Bottom-Up Modeling of Building Stock Dynamics - Investigating the Effect of Policy and Decisions on the Distribution of Energy and Climate Impacts in Building Stocks over Time.</a>     </div> <div><strong>Abolfazl Farahani </strong>holds a postdoc position at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, division of Building Services Engineering through the Lars Erik Lundberg scholarship, and has a doctorate from 2019. His doctoral thesis: <a href="">A systematic approach to strategic maintenance and renovation planning in multifamily buildings.   </a></div> <div>Parts of his research is also described here (in Swedish): Stegvis planering blir modellen för allmännyttan    </div> <div> </div> <div>The collaboration was initiated in the end of their doctoral studies after realising their research areas had many common denominators. With them in the Sinom project is also Professor Jan-Olof Dalenbäck, the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, division of Building Services Engineering. The work in the project involves houwing and real estate companies like Stena Fastigheter, Familjebostäder and Bostadsbolaget. The project is financed by Energimyndigheten (the Swedish Energy Agency) platform E2B2, and the researchers are in the final phase of finalizing the prototype of the tool.  </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Refrigerators to balance the energy grid  </h2> <div> </div> <div>Another ACE connected researcher who has been awarded a spot on the IVA 100 list is Tommie Månsson, Doctor from the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Division of Building Technology, with his concept for using supermarkets as thermal buffers for renewable electricity grids. Tommie Månsson has a doctorate from 2020. Link to his doctoral thesis: <a href="">Supermarket refrigeration systems for demand response in smart grids</a>. <br /><br />Tommie Månsson describes his innovation as follows :     </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Our supermarkets make for an important and underused resource in the shift towards a sustainable energy production – they offer flexibility through the possibility to store energy in their cooling systems. When the sun is shining and the wind blows, sustainable energy is being generated, but unfortunately, we cannot regulate the production to match our needs. Instead, we need to shift and make energy consumers adapt to the existing energy capacity.   For this purpose, we have developed a concept where the supermarkets cooling systems contribute the electricity grid with its flexibility and hence contribute to an decreased climate impact from the energy production.”    </div> <div> </div> <div>Read more about Tommie Månssons’s reserch here: <a href="/en/departments/ace/news/Pages/Supermarkets-as-batteries-in-smart-grids.aspx">Supermarkets as batteries in smart grids</a></div>Tue, 11 May 2021 10:00:00 +0200 creating the healthcare of the future<p><b>​Today's healthcare sector is becoming increasingly digitalized and tech driven. Chalmers invests heavily in the area of health and technology. In the elective course Here, there and everywhere – healthcare integrated in our everyday lives and places, students from different programmes, teachers and industry representatives with different areas of expertise, collaborate. Their task is to find new solutions to the challenges within the global healthcare sector.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">To improve the technical development of the sector, various areas of knowledge within Chalmers can play a key role, such as architecture, organizational development and e-health solutions.</span><div><br /></div> <div>“Chalmers has students who are competent in these three areas, but that doesn’t mean they are automatically good at collaboration. They need to practice interdisciplinary teamwork! For us, that was the starting point when we created this Tracks course” says Patrik Alexandersson who is responsible for the course.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20210101-20210631/SebastanRye_biltilltext.jpg" alt="sebastian rye, student" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px;width:180px;height:180px" /><br /></div> <div>Chalmers student, Sebastian Rye, participated in the first round of the course <em>Here, there and everywhere – healthcare integrated into our everyday lives and places</em>. He is currently studying his final year of Industrial Engineering and Management and is currently writing his Master thesis where he investigates how the use of artificial intelligence can be used in an efficient way in the healthcare sector.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“I had actually already chosen all my elective courses, but the Tracks course great combination of healthcare, interdisciplinary collaboration with mixed student groups and the opportunity to make contacts in the industry was a little too difficult to resist. I just had to take that extra course!”.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Current and real challenges</h3> <div>Tracks is a major investment in education and in new learning environments funded by the Chalmers Foundation. Tracks elective courses will complement students' programmes, introduce them to new subject areas and give them the opportunity to practice interdisciplinary teamwork.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Tracks courses are also linked to the latest research and to industry. In this course, the subject area was presented by representatives from the Högsbo Specialist Hospital and from Sahlgrenska University Hospitals’ digital R&amp;D department. Chalmers Center for Healthcare Improvement (CHI) is also behind the course as well as patients who were involved to give feedback on the students' solutions.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The intention with Tracks courses is that they should be able to quickly adapt to current needs and challenges in work-life and society. The healthcare-course is a good example. In the spring of 2020, when the new corona virus began to spread around the world, the teachers decided to include a case about pandemic management in the course, which was not planned from the beginning. Students could choose from three different cases to work with together in small groups: Pandemic, “Life Event Cancer” and Virtual Hospital.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The case called “Life Event Cancer” shed a light on the fact that there are more things than just the patient's disease that needs to be taken care of in the case of a cancer diagnosis. One question that the students discussed was how and with what digital tools the patient and their families can be supported throughout a treatment period.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Virtual hospital and virtual care in general are current topics in the healthcare sector today. Healthcare can be provided in many ways and doesn’t always have to be linked to a physical hospital building. Åsa Holmgren, project manager at Högsbo Specialist Hospital, believes that more technical solutions are needed, but that they need to be carefully examined – which solutions are the most useful within the healthcare sector? In response to which situations and when can they be applied for the best possible outcomes?</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“By learning more about how different technical solutions can be used, healthcare can be changed and improved. An example could be to develop the patient's ability to self-test at home, which the medical staff can follow up and manage – maybe it can lead to faster regulation of drug dosage. I have to say that the students impressed me with their insights and innovative suggestions in their final presentations!” says Åsa Holmgren.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Among other things, the students had suggestions for continuous feedback from a number of health parameters in patients staying at home. This is something that may create a preventive effect. Patients with better knowledge of their own health would also contribute to a more accurate decision-making by the caregiver. An increased use of Machine learning was also proposed, in order to, for example, identify early risk parameters for potential development of cancer.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In their final presentations the students came up with ideas regarding different health parameters that may be possible for the patients to control by themselves, at home. Something that could have a preventive effect and provide the patients with better knowledge of their own health status and contribute to an improved decision-making-process for the healthcare provider. Another suggestion from the students was more frequent use of Machine Learning. This could be a tool to identify early risk parameters for potential development of cancer.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Aim to increase students’ interest in the healthcare sector</h3> <div>During the first round of the course Here, there and everywhere – healthcare integrated in our everyday life and places, Chalmers students from eight different educational programmes participated and for the next course, planned this autumn, Patrik Alexandersson aims for even more.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We hope that our course can lead to increased knowledge of, and interest in healthcare among architecture and engineering students. By participating in the course, students gain a very good insight into the sector's challenges and its logic, which is enormously positive, both for themselves, Chalmers and for society in general.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Sebastian Rye was already interested in the subject before the start of the course, and he thinks that the opportunity to choose a course based on his own interest was very rewarding.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The teachers were incredibly committed and experienced in the area and guided us throughout the course, but at the same time it was a lot of project-oriented teamwork and a lot of self-studies. I really thought that the course complemented my other studies well, because in Tracks courses you get to practically apply the things you have learned to a subject you are interested in. This means that the knowledge you have gained from your programme actually gets enhanced!”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/news/Pages/" title="course poster"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icpdf.png" alt="" />Read more about the <span style="background-color:initial">course</span>​</a></div> <em> </em><div><a href="" title="chalmers study portal"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial">Read more about the c</span><span style="background-color:initial">urrent courses within Tracks</span></a></div> <div><em style="background-color:initial"></em></div> <div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Text:</strong> Julia Jansson</div> <div><strong>Photo:</strong> Västfastigheter, Sjukhusen i väster och Högsbo specialistsjukhus</div> ​Fri, 09 Apr 2021 02:00:00 +0200 our water<p><b>​The theme for World Water Day March 22 2021 is Vauling Water, focusing on how we value water from environmental, social, cultural and financial perspectives. But can we out a prize on water or is it invaluable? With an ongoing research project, researchers at Chalmers are trying to learn more.</b></p><div>​Through the <a href="/en/projects/Pages/Risk-based-prioritization-of-water-protection-in-sustainable.aspx">WaterPlan project</a>, researchers from the DRICKS center at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering are investigating what the need to protect our water resources looks like and how Swedes value this protection. Part of the project means that the researchers will use surveys to investigate and map how people prioritize and what they are actually willing to pay to protect our drinking water sources.         </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Today knowledge about how Swedes relate to our common water and how to value it is scarce. We know from studies in other Scandinavian countries that people prefer that the water they drink is naturally clean, that it doesn’t need to be purified afterwards. And that is of course important for how the protection of water resources is designed,&quot; says<a href="/en/staff/Pages/andreas-lindhe.aspx"> Andreas Lindhe,</a> associate professor and researcher at the DRICKS centre, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering.    </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">The great value of water in society    </h2> <div>Our surface and groundwater resources, ie water in lakes and streams as well as the water under the ground, not only provide us with drinking water but offer people so much more. Our water resources are, among other things, sources for energy production, irrigation and recreation – when we go swimming or boating in the summer.        </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;By protecting our water resources from a drinking water perspective, we can also protect these other values, so-called services, that they provide, but it can also mean restrictions on how we can use these services.&quot;    </div> <div> </div> <div>Therefore, the WaterPlan project also maps and analyzes the various services that water resources provide and the natural conditions on which they depend. The purpose is for researchers to be able to create an overall picture of how we use our water resources and how we thereby value them, as a basis for being able to better prioritize protection measures.      </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Pricing that does not reflect fair value     </h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial">DRICKS works closely with Swedish drinking water producers. The industry sees a need to increase water and sewage tariffs in order to be able to maintain and develop drinking water and wastewater management. The Swedish tariff is based on the prime cost principle, which results in a cost that in itself cannot be said to correspond to the actual value of the water and sewage services that we use in society. But what can be the disadvantages of water being underestimated and therefore priced too low?       </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;The fact that water in Sweden is inexpensive is not a bad thing since we want water to be available to everyone. But the low price of water means that we become worse at economizing it and tend to take it for granted. For a sane management of water, it is therefore bad that water is inexpensive&quot;</span><span style="background-color:initial">, says Andreas Lindhe.  </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div> </div> <div>Water is a prerequisite for life and crucial for our society in many ways. Andreas Lindhe believes that expressing risks and evaluating measures of action based on socio-economic consequences does not aim to reduce the importance of water – but on the contrary provides an opportunity to emphasize the importance of water, for instance when balancing competing interests.    </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;But we must of course be aware that there are other aspects than the purely socio-economic ones that may need to be considered when important decisions about water are to be made&quot;, Andreas Lindhe concludes.    <br /><br /><em>The </em><a href="" target="_blank"><em>World Water Day</em></a><em> is an initiative from the UN that started in 1993 and which draws attention to the importance of water in society. The purpose is to highlight the challenges we face and what is required for us to, among other things, achieve the sixth global sustainability goal of clean water and sanitation for all.  </em></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Text: Andreas Lindhe &amp; Catharina Björk<br /></div>Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:00:00 +0100 Spacematrix examines popular concepts in modern city planning<p><b>​A revised version of popular handbook Spacematrix is released, where the authors demystify the use of concepts such as ‘urbanity’, ‘compact city’ and ‘park city’ by challenging the reliability of such concepts and critically examining the possibility of redefining them through quantification using multiple density measures. </b></p><div>​<a href="/en/Staff/Pages/meta-berghauserpont.aspx" target="_blank">Meta Berghauser Pont</a>, Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering is, together with Per Haupt, the author of the recently published book &quot;Spacematrix – Space, Density and Urban Form&quot;. The book explores the potential of urban density as a tool for urban planning and design and is a revised and extended edition of the authors 2010 volume, which includes an extensive analysis of the relations between density, urban form and performance – a prerequisite for understanding and successfully predicting the effects of specific designs and planning proposals.    </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">What's new?</h2> <div> </div> <div>Meta Berghauser Pont says the extended version of the book Spacematrix is new in three ways, and first of all provides new insights on the effects of density through the inclusion of a systematic review of more than 200 empirical studies around the globe, including aspects such as mobility, economics, and health.   </div> <div> </div> <div>   – Second is the trend of increased space consumption and decreased density in Amsterdam that was discussed in the 2010 edition is updated to also include recent development in Amsterdam and compared to developments worldwide, Meta says,   <br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>She continues:  </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div>    – <span>Very interesting <span style="display:inline-block"></span></span>is that this decrease in density is not a phenomenon unique for Amsterdam but a general phenomenon in Asia, North and South America and Europe. However, through the detailed analysis of Amsterdam, we have been able to reveal a trend break. In Amsterdam, since 2000, densities have started to increase, from 63 inhabitants per hectare in 2000 to 74 in 2020. That is almost 20 percent! <br /></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The third main streak added in the 2021 version is the database of building types, which is extended with two more cities in Europe and covers now Amsterdam, Berlin, Barcelona, London, and Stockholm. Examples from three Asian cities are used to contextualize the European examples.    </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Takeaways for professionals    </h2></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The content of Spacematrix is of interest to professionals working in the field of urbanism, such as architects, urban planners and designers, as well as developers, economists, engineers and policymakers. It also offers researchers a method to quantitatively describe urban form and connect this to a wide range of performances.    <br /><br />Meta Berghauser Pont describes the potential utilization for the book from a city planners’ point of view:  <br /><br />   – Spacematrix gives insight in the tradeoffs related to densification, called for by for instance UN Habitat to develop more sustainable cities. The strong dichotomy that is found between, on the one hand, the positive effects of density in relation to infrastructure, transport, and economics and, on the other hand, the negative environmental, social and health impacts formulates a challenging task for urban planners. Most of the reported negative effects of densification can be related to a lack of pervious green areas and pleads for a shift in mainly focusing on decarbonizing cities to also making cities more resilient where urban greening plays an important role besides densification.  <br /><br />Architects is another obvious group of professionals that could benifit from the methodology and concepts described in Spacematrix. Meta Berghauser Pont explains:  <br /><br />   – The book shows that population density is a too crude measure to describe building types. With the Spacematrix, a more effective method is provided to distinguish e.g. high and spacious building patterns from low and compact ones. The book also foregrounds the important role of block size in the discussion on densification and associated economic and social aspects.    <br /><br /><ul><li><em>The book is based on results from three different research projects financed by Formas </em></li> <li><em>Spacematrix is published by NA010 Publishers,  ISBN 978-94-6208-538-1  </em></li> <li><em>More on the subject: <a href="/en/departments/ace/news/Pages/Negative-effects-of-densification-are-overlooked-in-contemporary-urban-planning.aspx" target="_blank">Negative effects of densification often ovelooked in urban planning</a></em><br /></li></ul></div> <div> </div>Thu, 18 Mar 2021 17:00:00 +0100 knowledge put to the test in hospital project<p><b>​The stay in Tanzania can be described as the journey of her life and she brought back a positive and unique insight into a new culture. Moa Strålman, one of the Chalmers students who annually collaborates with Engineers Without Borders, shares her experience of relocating part of her studies to a completely different continent.</b></p><div>​Through Engineers/Architects Without Borders' project &quot;Healthy Hospitals&quot; in Tanzania, Chalmers students each year take the opportunity to contribute their newfound knowledge where it’s needed the most. For Moa Strålman and Ellen Blanksvärd's part, the assignment was about planning for a new lab and supervise the construction of a new RCH care unit at Mkula Hospital in Kitsomo. An assignment that really put their knowledge to the test!    </div> <div> </div> <div>   – On location our mission was partly to act as the link between the project group and the hospital, and partly to act as supervisors, coordinators and technical consultants for the ongoing construction work, explains Moa. A task of great responsibilities, she adds.    </div> <div> </div> <div>Moa Strålman took the undergraduate program Civil Engineering 180 credits, and with the Bachelors´ thesis the possibility to join EWB and go to Tanzania appeared. The aim of the thesis was to examine the long-term quality of the project process, with the planned construction work at Mkula Hospital as the case study.       </div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Efforts that make a difference  </h2> <div> </div> <div>In parallel to the ongoing project of constructing the RCH unit, Moa and her fellow student Ellen Blanksvärd planned for the hospitals´ laboratory which needed renovation as well as expansion – a work that is expected to start during 2021. Moa can confirm that the need of support on location is great and resources scarce, hence made efforts account for a true difference.    </div> <div> </div> <div>   – It felt amazing to be able to use skills and knowledge from education in this way. We received a fantastic reception, and our job was really appreciated by the hospital staff. We are still in regular contact with some of our on-site collaborators, says Moa.    </div> <div> </div> <div>Thanks to their network on location Moa and Ellen can continue to follow the work and progress from a distance, and not only see the project through – but hopefully also see that the implemented measures are utilized and appreciated by the local community.    </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Collaboration with mutual respect    </h2> <div> </div> <div>Working in a completely different culture and with limited resources was of course a challenge. But Moa’s main takeaway from her stay in Kitsomo is a humble approach to the difference in living conditions, and great respect for the knowledge and experience of the local team and hospital staff. The work carried out at the hospital is planned by engineers without borders together with the hospital management and the local district engineer - based on the needs that on-site are identified as most critical.    </div> <div> </div> <div>   – The lack of resources means that factors we hardly ever think of, such as access to water, sewage and electricity, cannot be taken for granted. Tough conditions to operate in! Hence, the long-term focus is crucial, striving for a sustainable infrastructure where we contribute with resources to support the hospital to a flying start, after which they carry out maintenance and further development by themselves, says Moa.    </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Background and links</h3></div> <div> Engineers Without Borders &amp; Architects Without Borders and their projects in Tanzania have indirectly been supported by Chalmers Mastercard Scholarships via Chalmers students for several years. This is also the case for Moa Strålman och and fellow student Ellen Blanksvärd who were among the students awarded with the scholarship in 2020. <a href="/en/collaboration/alumni/chalmersmastercard/Pages/default.aspx">Read more about the Chalmers Mastercard Scholarships</a></div> <div> </div> <div>The on-site team driving the project are alumnae from Chalmers engaged in EWO or ASF. Also involved in the projects together with Moa and Ellen was masters’ students Bassem Hewidi och David Jaros, whose contribution to the project formed background for their masters´ thesis. Read more about <a href="">Engineers Without Borders</a> and their work at Mkula Hospital in Kitsomo, Tanzania.<br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Moa Strålman now holds a Bachelors’ degree from the undergraduate program of Civil Engineering 180 credits and proceeds her studies at Chalmers with Industrial Ecology. Her fellow student and co-writer Ellen Blanksvärd also took the Civil Engineering 180 credits program. Link to the Bachelors’ thesis: <a href="">Project Management challenges that affect lifespan of constructions in development aid project – A Case Study through Healthy Hospital Project in Tanzania</a>.   <br />Supervisor was Martine Buser, assistant Professor at the Division of Construction Management at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text:Catharina Björk<br /></div>Mon, 01 Mar 2021 13:00:00 +0100 new app Avidnote makes it easier to read and write research papers online<p><b>​This week the web-based app Avidnote was launched ( which enables researchers to keep and organize research notes systematically online.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Avidnote has been produced by a group of researchers and developers from Chalmers who have developed a web-based application that helps researchers review and organize their research articles in a platform that makes it easier for them to keep track of their research texts and keep a systematic overview of ongoing writing projects.</span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>With Avidnote, researchers can annotate research literature digitally by linking uploaded articles with their own notes. This is done in an interface where the user's notes and articles are placed side by side. Users can also import new articles via a search function, as well as search through all their notes and organize them by placing them in different digital notebooks (tags) depending on the category.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The development has been led by Dr. Abderisak Adam, who worked as a researcher at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, where he also received his doctorate.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– Avidnote came from a direct need that I encountered during my doctoral studies at Chalmers. We noticed that most researchers and students still wrote all their research notes by hand in the margins of printed articles. This process can instead be digitized and improved, which was the goal of Avidnote, says Abderisak Adam.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The application currently has over 1000 researchers from over 80 universities who have signed up, of which over 700 researchers have actively used the app. It is recommended by several universities on their websites, including Princeton University and the University of Connecticut.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– The majority of users have come from USA and Sweden. During this spring semester, we have also invited students who are writing their thesis work to try out the app. The responses we have received so far have been very positive.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Avidnote is part of Foundersloft, an incubator located in Chalmers E-village.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>To try the app, you can visit: <span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""></a></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>For further information contact:</div> <div>Abderisak Adam, one of the founders of Avidnote, +46700730586</div> <div>E-mail: <a href=""></a> or <a href="​">​​</a></div> </div>Tue, 09 Feb 2021 11:00:00 +0100 Sketch 2021: 1st Prize winner <p><b>​Hugo Henriksson 1st Prize winner with the project Outpost.</b></p><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">​<span>1st Prize</span></h2> <div>Motto: THE OUTPOST</div> <div> </div> <div>Author: Hugo Henriksson, Student MPARC Prize: 7000 SEK</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;THE OUTPOST is pure concentration. It uses everything in the context to its advantage. Its response to the traffic with the loading dock and the big drifting, party square using the building as a backdrop towards the activities on the riverside with the boat deck and pedestrian bridge. Once inside the building you will take the elevator to the top and walking a very theatrical path descending through the exhibition space all the way down to the restaurant on the boat deck level. It has a very robust structure that could easily be subdivided and used in a flexible way. The exhibition areas are mainly artificially lit, so the only minor drawback is the possibility of daylight from above. Otherwise, a perfectly balanced and solved solution that embrace the shed like structures along the river with its temporary rawness.&quot;</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">JURY</h2> <div> </div> <div>The proposals were judged by the following persons:</div> <div> </div> <div>Professor Gert Wingårdh, President of the Wernstedt ’21Jury</div> <div> </div> <div>Petra Gipp, Architect MAA/SAR/MSA, Petra Gipp Arkitektur,Stockholm</div> <div> </div> <div>Nisse Hassellöf, Architect SAR/MSA, QPG Arkitektur,Göteborg, appointed by the local Architect’s Association, SAVG, Sveriges Arkitekter Västra Götaland</div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial">Lecturer Björn Gross as Secretary to the Jury</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">2nd Prize</h3> <div>Motto: GROUNDED</div> <div>Author: John Arvidsson, Student MPARC Prize: 5000 SEK</div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Shared 3rd Prize</h3> <div>Motto: RELIEF</div> <div>Author: Theo Belzons, Student MPARC Prize: 3000 SEK</div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Shared 3rd Prize</h3> <div>Motto: ILLUMINUM</div> <div>Author: Ulrike Donnerhack, Student MPARC Prize: 3000 SEK</div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Mention</h3> <div>Motto: BEACON</div> <div>Author: Lina Zachrisson &amp; Mahsa Mohammadi, Student MPARC​</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">See the entries for 2nd, 3rd prize and Mention here​</a></div></span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/sv/institutioner/ace/kalendarium/Sidor/Wernstedskissen.aspx">More information and programme</a>​</span><span style="background-color:initial">​</span><br /></div>Fri, 05 Feb 2021 14:00:00 +0100 innovation saves energy in the supermarket<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers discovered by chance that the thermometer in modern store refrigerators is systematically wrong placed, resulting in supermarkets consuming more energy than necessary. But they also figured out how to solve the problem, and the solution has great potential with possible improvements in over 3000 supermarkets – in Sweden alone.</b></p><div>​Tommie Månsson has recently completed his doctoral project on <a href="/en/departments/ace/news/Pages/Supermarkets-as-batteries-in-smart-grids.aspx">Supermarkets as virtual batteries in demand response systems</a>, and during an experiment he stumbled upon something peculiar. The thermometer that regulates the cold in a store refrigerator is generally incorrectly placed, which means that it cools unnecessarily much.    </div> <div> </div> <div>  – When stores switched from open refrigerated cabinets to closed ones with a door, they failed to reposition the thermometer that measures the outgoing air. Since the thermometer is placed too close to the door, the outgoing air seems warmer than it actually is, which makes the refrigerator lower the temperature more than necessary. As a result the fridge uses more energy than actually needed and runs more unevenly, Tommie Månsson explains.    </div> <div> </div> <div>When the researchers in experiments moved the thermometers to a more suitable position in the refrigerators – thus showing a more correct temperature, they noticed that the refrigerators on average consumed about five percent less energy.    </div> <div> </div> <div>  – We can see several climate-positive effects. The temperature of the air that enters the refrigerator is not as crucial, and you can maintain more even temperatures, which leads to energy efficiency. In addition, the heating needs of the stores are reduced when the coolers do not cool the indoor air as much as before, says Tommie.    </div> <div> </div> <div>The discovery resulted in an EU patent for a holder for the thermometer in store refrigerators, which makes the thermometer easy to move and reposition inside the refrigerator, and a corporate spin-off to launch and implement the innovation in the market.    </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Untapped potential    </h2> <div> </div> <div>Pilot tests in stores of German supermarket chain Rewe have been successful with a clear reduction in consumption; and an expansion of the small thermometer holder is planned. In Sweden and the rest of Europe, the market has not yet realised the potential, despite the fact that in Sweden alone there are potentially more than 3,000 stores that could reduce their consumption.    </div> <div> </div> <div>  – They probably don’t see it as that much of a problem. In the past, the stores had open refrigerators and when you put on doors, energy consumption was more than halved – which is a fantastic improvement. So despite the fact that it can be further improved, the market seem content.    </div> <div> </div> <div>However, Tommie believes that when you have already made the big change, it is instead the small details that become important. Swedish supermarkets account for 3% of Sweden's total electricity consumption, of which only refrigerators account for about half of of this figure. The fact that store refrigerators would be even more energy efficient could thus be of great importance for reducing energy use and thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions.    </div> <div> </div> <div>  – We use chilled foods to a much greater extent now than historically. So despite the fact that most stores have replaced their inefficient open refrigerators with more energy-efficient closed ones, it seems the cooling systems do not actually draw less electricity in total, because today the supermarkets have many more refrigerators than before, Tommie Månsson concludes.<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Catharina Björk</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The article &quot;<a href="">Exploratory investigation of return air temperature sensor measurement errors in refrigerated display cabinets</a>&quot; was published in Springer Journal Energy Efficiency 1/2021.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Tommie Månsson is a PhD from the division of Building Technology, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at Chalmers. The name of the spin-off venture is </em><a href=""><em>ChillServices.</em></a> <br /></div>Thu, 04 Feb 2021 09:00:00 +0100 precious zinc from waste ash<p><b>​Incineration of solid waste produces millions of tonnes of waste fly ash in Europe each year, that most commonly ends up in landfill. But this ash often contains significant amounts of precious metals, such as zinc. A unique method developed by researchers at Chalmers can now help extract these precious metals, potentially leading to reductions in environmental pollution, landfill and transport.</b></p><div>​During waste incineration, the released flue gases are purified and the small particles present are separated, leading to the formation of fly ash. This fly ash contains toxic substances, such as dioxins, and so is normally classified as hazardous waste and landfilled. But it also contains valuable metals, such as zinc, which are thereby lost.  But a new method from Chalmers University of Technology, tested at pilot scale and detailed over several years of research, involves treating this waste with an acid wash, also separated from the flue gases, to separate the zinc from the fly ash. The zinc can then be extracted, washed and processed into raw material.  </div> <div> </div> <div>  – In our pilot study, we found that 70 percent of the zinc present in fly ash can be recycled. The zinc is not extracted as a pure metal, which would be a much more intensive process, but instead as a zinc-rich product, which can be sold to the metal industry and processed further in currently existing industry production lines,” says <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/karin-karlfeldt.aspx">Karin Karlfeldt Fedje</a>, Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, and researcher at the recycling and waste management company Renova AB.  </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Ash turned into useful material </h2> <div> </div> <div>In further refinement to the method, the researchers have been able to significantly reduce the level of toxicity.  </div> <div> </div> <div>  – After extraction, we incinerate the residual ash again to break down the dioxins. Ninety percent of this is then turned into bottom ash, which can be used as a construction material, for example,” explains Karin Karlfeldt Fedje.  </div> <div> </div> <div>Internationally, the prevalence of waste incineration is varied, but the need to handle large amounts of ash after the process is widespread. In Sweden, incineration of household waste in waste-to-energy plants is common, and results in around 250,000 tonnes of fly ash every year that could potentially be treated in this way. The rest of Europe accounts for around ten times that amount.    </div> <div> </div> <div>Although it is hard to estimate how many tonnes of zinc are currently lost through landfill in Sweden and beyond, the method developed by the Chalmers researchers can be of great interest to all waste management actors. It offers great potential for recovering these metals in a relatively simple way and could have a significant impact on the profitability of waste incineration, as well as its role in the circular economy.  </div> <div> </div> <div>  – The technology for extracting zinc from fly ash could have several positive effects, such as reducing the need for mining virgin zinc raw material, lower levels of toxicity in the ash, and greatly reduced landfill contributions. It can be a vital contribution to society's efforts towards a more circular economy,” says <a href="/en/staff/Pages/sveander.aspx">Sven Andersson</a>, Adjunct Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and R&amp;D Manager at flue gas cleaning supplier Babcock &amp; Wilcox Vølund AB.  </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Applied in full scale in Sweden  </h2> <div> </div> <div>Dividing her time between Chalmers and Renova, Karin Karlfeldt Fedje has spent many years developing the methodology, in collaboration with several external actors. Together with Sven Andersson, they have been able to design a full-scale process. Their research has led to Renova AB and B&amp;W Vølund now building an ash washing facility with zinc recycling in Gothenburg Sweden, an investment that is estimated to save hundreds of thousands of euro every year for the municipally owned waste management company.  </div> <div> </div> <div>Read their scientific article, “<a href="">Zinc recovery from Waste-to-Energy fly ash – A pilot test study</a>”, published in the journal Waste Management. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Catharina Björk</em><br /><br /></div>Tue, 15 Dec 2020 17:00:00 +0100 as batteries in smart grids<p><b>​Getting along and taking turns are concepts we learn early in life, and the balance between supply and demand for energy requires a similar mindset – the supermarket on the corner may not need to run their refrigerators at full power while you brew your morning coffee, and maybe you can lower your indoor temperature whilst away from home. An increasing share of renewable energy sources requires for us to consider existing energy as our common asset.</b></p><div>​On a typical weekday morning, hundreds of thousands of Swedish households are preparing for a new day. You brew coffee and make breakfast, shave or blow-dry your hair, charge mobile phones and laptops. During this time, power peaks are created in electricity consumption, which means that the electricity grid runs at high pressure, something that creates problems in grids with a large proportion of renewable energy sources hard to regulate, such as solar, wind and wave power.     </div> <div> </div> <div>  – This is where the research on smart grids comes in, and part of the solution for these morning hours for example, could be that supermarkets hold back on cooling to balance supply and demand for electricity in the grid. This would mean that when people leave home for work and school, there is a surplus of electricity in the grid – which is saved in the supermarkets' refrigerators and freezers, and an environmentally friendly virtual battery has been created, says Tommie Månsson.     </div> <div> </div> <div>Swedish supermarkets account for 3 percent of Sweden's total electricity consumption, of which the refrigerators solely account for about 1.5 percent. Tommie Månsson, a soon to be PhD at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, has in his research project investigated the potential of using supermarkets and their cooling systems to balance the electricity grid and thus increase the opportunities for a larger share of renewable energy in the electricity grid.     </div> <div> </div> <div>  – My contribution to the smart grids of the future are models for estimating the storage capacity for supermarkets, ie how long store refrigerators can be switched off without damaging the food, Tommie says.     </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Users balance the electricity grid     </h2> <div> </div> <div>When you turn off the refrigerators, that in turn affects the entire building's energy system, so in order to be able to use the flexibility in an efficient way, you first need to know the current situation. When you know the temperature development and performance, you can make mathematical models and together with user data create forecasts.     </div> <div> </div> <div>  – Overall, these parts become a whole that enables a concept called &quot;Demand Response&quot; for supermarkets, which refers to how the user side – in this case the supermarket – adapts to the energy available in the electricity grid. Demand Response is a prerequisite for creating smart grids with a large proportion of renewable energy, Tommie explains.     </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Studies on in-store refrigerators make for unique dataset     </h2> <div> </div> <div>After experiments in a lab environment where researchers created input values for the thermal performance, the next step was to look at how customers interacted with refrigerators in a supermarket. The partner was the German groceries giant REWE, and for a month Tommie and his colleagues performed studies in a store with about eighty refrigerators to study the speed at which customers opened the refrigerators, at what angle, how long the doors were open at each opening and how it affected temperature development.     </div> <div> </div> <div>  – The result was a unique dataset that is important for research because the temperature development of the chilled foods determines the capacity of a demand-response system. The fact that the refrigerated goods are heated thus reduces the capacity and the possibility of contributing to the electricity system, says Tommie Månsson.     </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Technology with a bright future     </h2> <div> </div> <div>Tommie believes that the potential for applying his results is high. Models, input data and technology already exist, which means that in the next step it is a matter of putting it together into a system and looking at the whole and optimizing.     </div> <div> </div> <div>  – Much more reserch could be done on behavioural patterns and how it ultimately affects the electricity grid, but in terms of the technical part, pilot studies would be the next step in determining what technical and economic barriers exist in managing grocery stores. In addition, we need to understand that we must start handling the in the grid as our common asset, Tommie Månsson concludes.  <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Catharina Björk</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Tommie Månssons will defend his doctoral thesis &quot;<a href="">Supermarket refrigeration systems for demand response in smart grids</a>&quot; on December 11th, at 10 a.m.</div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Scientific articles connected with the project:</h3> <div>Journal of Building Engineering: <a href="">Analysis of door openings of refrigerated display cabinets in an operational supermarket International</a> <br />Journal of Refrigeration: <a href="">Co-Heating method for thermal performance evaluation of closed refrigerated display cabinets<br /></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Funding</h3> <div>The PhD project &quot;Supermarkets as thermal buffers for renewable electricity grids&quot; was mainly funded by Climate-KIC</div></div>Thu, 03 Dec 2020 17:00:00 +0100 global built environment sector must think in new, radical ways – and act quickly<p><b>​The construction sector, the real estate industry and city planners must give high priority to the same goal – to drastically reduce their climate impacts. Powerful, combined efforts are absolutely crucial for the potential to achieve the UN's sustainability goals. And what’s more – everything has to happen very quickly. These are the cornerstones to the roadmap presented at the Beyond 2020 World Conference. </b></p><div>Today, 55 percent of the world's population lives in cities. By 2050, that figure is estimated to have risen to 68 percent, according to the UN. Cities already produce 70 percent of the world's greenhouse gases. Buildings and construction account for 40 percent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Rapid urbanisation is bringing new demands that need to be met in ecologically, economically and socially sustainable ways.  </div> <div> </div> <div>“If we continue as before, we have no chance of even getting close to the climate goals. Now we need to act with new radical thinking and we need to do it fast, and increase the pace at which we work to reduce cities' climate impact. We must look for innovative ways to build our societies so that we move towards the sustainability goals, and not away from them”, says Colin Fudge, Visiting Professor of urban futures and design at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.  </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Roadmap for the built environment sector worldwide </h2> <div> </div> <div>As an outcome of the Beyond 2020 World Conference, Colin Fudge and his colleague Holger Wallbaum have established a &quot;<a href="" target="_blank">Framework for a Transformational Plan for the Built Environment</a>&quot;. The framework aims to lay the foundation for regional strategies that can guide the entire sector in working towards sustainable cities and communities, and the goals of the <a href="" target="_blank">UN Agenda 2030</a>.  </div> <div> </div> <div>“The conference clearly demonstrated the growing awareness of sustainability issues among more and more actors in the sector. But it's not enough. Achieving the sustainability goals will require a common understanding among all actors of how they can be achieved – and, not least, real action. That is what we want to contribute to now”, says Holger Wallbaum, Professor in Sustainable Building at Chalmers University of Technology, and host of <a href="" target="_blank">Beyond 2020</a>.  </div> <div> </div> <div>Chair of Sweden’s Council for sustainable cities, Helena Bjarnegård, is welcoming their initiative.  </div> <div> </div> <div>“We are aware that we have to deliver change to address the climate, biodiversity, lack of resources and segregation. We need to develop sustainable living environments, not least for the sake of human health. The framework of a transformational plan for the built environment provides a provocative but necessary suggestion on concrete actions to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for one of the most important sectors”, says Helena Bjarnegård, National architect of Sweden.  </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">72 measures proposed for northwestern Europe </h2> <div> </div> <div>In the framework, Wallbaum and Fudge have added a detailed action plan for northwestern Europe that contains 72 concrete proposals for measures – intended as an inspiration for the rest of the world.  The proposals cover everything from energy efficiency improvements, research into new building materials, digital tools and renovation methods, to free public transport, more green spaces and cycle paths. They involve all actors from the entire sector – such as architects, builders, real estate companies, material producers and urban planners. Several of the high-priority measures in northwestern Europe are under direct governmental responsibility:  </div> <ul><li>Higher taxes on carbon dioxide emissions and utilisation of land and natural resources – lower taxes on labour </li> <li>State support for energy-efficient renovation works </li> <li>A plan for large-scale production of sustainable, affordable housing </li> <li>Increased pace in the phasing out of fossil fuels in favour of electric power from renewables </li></ul> <div> </div> <div>“Here, governments, in collaboration with towns, cities and other sectors, have a key role, as it is political decisions such as taxation, targeted support and national strategies that can pave the way for the radical changes we propose. But all actors with influence over the built environment must contribute to change. In other parts of the world, it may be the business community that plays the corresponding main role”, says Holger Wallbaum.  </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Measures must be adapted by region </h2> <div> </div> <div>Wallbaum and Fudge are clear that their proposed measures are specifically intended for the countries of northwestern Europe, and that their work should be seen as an invitation to discussion. Different actors around the world are best placed to propose which measures are most urgent and relevant in their respective regions, based on local conditions, they claim.  </div> <div> </div> <div>“Key people and institutions in different parts of the world have accepted the challenge of establishing nodes for the development of regional strategies. From Chalmers' side, we have offered to support global coordination. Our proposal is that all these nodes present their progress for evaluation and further development at a world conference every three years – next in Montreal, in 2023”, says Colin Fudge.  </div> <div> </div> <div>A thousand participants followed the Beyond 2020 conference, which was arranged by Chalmers 2-4 November in collaboration with Johanneberg Science Park, Rise (Research Institutes of Sweden), and the City of Gothenburg. As a result of the Corona pandemic, it was held online. The conference discussed methods for reducing climate footprints, lowering resource consumption, digital development and innovative transport. Among the speakers were authorities in sustainable construction, digitisation and financing from around the world.  </div> <div> </div> <div><em><a href="">Beyond 2020</a> has the status of a World Sustainable Built Environment Conference (WSBE). Organisers are appointed by iiSBE, a worldwide non-profit organisation whose overall goal is to actively work for initiatives that can contribute to a more sustainable built environment. The next WSBE will be held in Montreal in 2023.</em>    </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about: A roadmap for the built environment </h3> <div>In their newly established framework, Wallbaum and Fudge establish a general approach that each individual region in the world can use to identify the measures that are most urgent and relevant to achieving the goals of the UN Agenda 2030, based on local conditions. They identify the key questions that must be answered by all societal actors, the obstacles that need to be overcome and the opportunities that will be crucial for the sector over the next decade.  The work has been carried out in dialogue with prominent researchers and city planners around the world. </div> <div> </div> <div>Read more about the framework and download the material here: <a href="" target="_blank">Framework document on a Transformational Plan for the Built Environment  </a></div> <div> </div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about: Action plan for the built environment sector in northwestern Europe </h3> <div>Wallbaum and Fudge have specified 72 acute sustainability measures in northwestern Europe (Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, Belgium, Switzerland). </div> <div>A selection:  </div> <ul><li>Establish renovation plans which focus on energy efficiencies for all existing property by 2023. </li> <li>Avoid demolition and new construction when it is possible to renovate. Halve emissions from production of building materials by 2025. </li> <li>The transition to greater usage of materials with lower climate impact needs to accelerate. </li> <li>Accelerate the phase out of fossil fuels in the transport sector in favour of electric power – with, for example, a ban on new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. </li> <li>Double the amount of pedestrian and cycle paths in cities by 2030. </li> <li>Offer free municipal public transport for all school children and for everyone over the age of 70. </li> <li>Introduce the climate perspective as a mandatory element of the architectural industry's ethical guidelines. Increase the proportion of green spaces by 20 percent in all cities by 2030. </li> <li>Concentrate research on the development of new building materials with lower carbon footprints, digital tools for the built environment and new energy-efficient renovation methods. </li></ul></div> <div> </div> <div><br />Read the entire action plan on the pages 20-23 in the <a href="">Framework document on a Transformational Plan for the Built Environment </a><br /></div> <div><div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Contact: </h3> <div>Holger Wallbaum</div> <div><a href=""></a>  Ph. +46 31 772 19 94 </div></div> <div> </div>Sun, 15 Nov 2020 21:00:00 +0100 effects of densification are overlooked in urban planning<p><b>​​By 2050, 68% of the world’s population will live in cities, hence, the need for developing sustainable and resilient cities is urgent. Densification is a generally accepted strategy in urban planning – but a recent overview of city plans and science in the field show good reasons neither to forget the negative side effects, nor the need for new research questions.</b></p>A current prevailing view in city planning in Sweden as well as internationally, is that densification is a natural part of developing sustainable cities. This consensus lead <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/meta-berghauserpont.aspx">Meta Berghauser Pont</a>, associate professor at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, and fellow researchers, to question and investigate the strategy further.    <br /><br /><div>  – There actually is a mismatch between what science has concluded and what practice use as an argument. We have systematically investigated both the scientific evidence and arguments used and conclude there are good reasons to be more critical about simple solutions in the form of densification and instead seek proof and knowledge of both pros and cons.    </div> <div><br /></div> <div><div>The researchers have made a systematic overview of comprehensive plans from 59 Swedish municipalities and studied to what extent a motive for densification is mentioned, positive or negative, and to which field that motive connects to. In order to relate this to what science says, the researchers have studied scientific articles on densification and, again, noted to which research fields those studies connect to – and if the correlation to densification was positive or negative. The results will be presented at <a href="" target="_blank" title="Beyond2020 conference web">Beyond2020</a> conference, Nov 2nd.<br /></div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Knowledge gaps behind over-reliance on densification strategy    </h2> <div> </div> <div>What they have shown is that practice think that densification mostly has positive effects in relation to sustainable urban development and, moreover, a discrepancy in terms of what research results actually show.      </div> <div> </div> <div>  – The most interesting results of the overview of plans is that most of the arguments are positive and very pro densification. One of few aspects that really is acknowledged as a problem is water management. When social effects are mentioned it is in a positive manner, like better social cohesion that, in turn, contributes to integration. However, in the scientific papers, especially the social aspect of effects of densification is shown to be more negative.     </div> <div> </div> <div>Meta explains that the review furthermore has revealed that many negative health effects are highlighted in research, like stress and health problems related to air pollution.     <br /></div> <div>  – A clear mismatch between what science has concluded and what practice use as an argument, a real knowledge gap, Meta Berghauser Pont comments.    </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Sustainable cities demand for complex solutions    </h2> <div> </div> <div>Research has shown many of the negative sides of densification have to do with soft values such as social issues or health topics, while the positive sides of densification relate to economics or transport related topics. To acknowledge and handle both negative and positive sides in the design process would mean making the design task more complex.    </div> <div> </div> <div>  – The tendence, historically, is to take one problem and solve it. A hundred years ago when cities were overcrowded, we aimed at building more spacious, green cities where access to daylight in apartments was put high on the agenda. What was overlooked then was the need for good housing is not enough; we also need good cities.     </div></div> <div><div> </div> <div>For the latter, the understanding of the movement patterns of people is crucial where well-connected places create other urban qualities than less well-connected places, Meta Berghauser Pont explains. She continues:    </div> <div> </div> <div>  – This was just not part of the design problem at the time with the resulting spatial segregation we see today in many areas built during the Swedish Million Home Programme. I think we do the same thing with densification at the moment – we simplify the set of problems and focus on a few issues, without acknowledging the full spectrum, for instance design areas that are both dense and green.    </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Adaption and resilience the way forward    </h2> <div> </div> <div>Meta think both practice and researchers need to change their way of thinking.     </div> <div> </div> <div>  – Instead of wanting a city that resolves problems of today we should strive for a city that is resilient to forthcoming changes and problems.    </div> <div> </div> <div>Meta says research results suggest cities should be adaptable and allow for diversity and changes – which is a much harder concept to work with. Harder, but not impossible. Meta continues by exemplifying how the complex task can be handled.    </div> <div> </div> <div>  – A few things can be done; to start with, practice need to acknowledge also the negative sides of for instance densification. This opens up for new more complex challenges and often requires more innovative solutions and building types and urban forms that we do not know yet.     </div></div> <div><div> </div> <div>Meta Berghauser Pont and her research group suggest working on the concept of social ecological urbanism, which tries to capture a new way of looking at cities, as an alternative to smart growth and densification.    </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Imbalance in topics addressed in research    </h2> <div> </div> <div>The researchers have also seen that there is an imbalance in regards of what research fields densification research has been focusing on. Innumerable transport related research studies are performed, and they often show positive correlations, such as less private car traffic since inhabitants can walk or use public transport. Meta thinks climate change discussion, by right, has put a lot of attention on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Hence, the transport related field, one of the large sources of such emissions, has gained a lot of money and thus a lot of papers are published in that direction.     </div> <div> </div> <div>  – We have arrived at the point where we know this mechanism plays out, while studies connected to ecology, social impact and health are much less studied and show also partly negative correlations with higher density, she declares.      </div> <div> </div> <div>Meta Berghauser Pont concludes:    </div> <div> </div> <div>  – We need to show the research community that we have a huge imbalance in the topics we address. This is a serious problem that individual researchers but especially funders should take notice of. We need more research in other directions, instead of repeating the same thing again and again and again.      </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Background: </h3> <div>Meta Berghauser Pont is Associate Professor in Urban Design and Planning, at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology. She will together with Per Haupt present their papers: </div> <div>“<em>A systematic review of motives for densification in Swedish planning practice</em>”, and </div> <div>“<em>A systematic review of the scientifically demonstrated effects of densification</em>” on the 2 November, the first conference day of the international digital Beyond2020 conference.    </div> <div> </div> <div>All about the Beyond2020 conference: <a href="">  </a></div> <div>Program: <a href=";Project_Id=%27BEYN2020%27&amp;System_Id=1">Link to detailed conference program </a></div> <div> </div> <div>Text: Catharina BJörk<br /></div></div> Tue, 27 Oct 2020 11:00:00 +0100 Ideas Competition: Environmental Health Equity<p><b>​The Pittsburgh Platform in collaboration with Chalmers University and Carnegie Mellon University launches an Ideas Competition for students within in the fields of architecture and urban planning to submit proposals on how to ensure environmental health equity.</b></p>​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/ACE/nyheter/2020/StudentIdeasCompetition_EnvironmentalHealthEquity250.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">This call for ideas aims to push the envelope on how to establish environmental health equity and bring environmental health equity into the center of debate on city planning.</span><div><br /></div> <div>We believe everyone has an equal right to live in a healthy environment and with this open call for ideas, we aim to bring together the best student teams to formulate new innovative spatial solutions to ensure environmental health equity.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Think big, think beyond.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div>For more information please visit: <a href=""></a></div> <div>Questions to be send to: <a href=""></a></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Contact: Meta Berghauser Pont, Associate Professor Urban Design, Chalmers University of Technology, <a href="">​</a><br /></div>Fri, 23 Oct 2020 14:00:00 +0200