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Sweden Smart Built Environment

Sweden’s built environment market, design and construction, energy-efficient buildings, and distributed energy technologies may be attractive to U.S. firms. 

The Swedish construction industry has an approximate annual turnover of $95 billion and the estimated value of the real estate stock is $785 billion, excluding the value of infrastructures, such as roads, bridges, railways, harbors, and airports.  According to the Swedish Construction Federation, the sector employs 355,000 people and in 2020 the investments amounted to $50 billion, which accounts for 10 percent of GDP.  The U.S. share of the market is currently three percent, mainly in the form of building automation and control systems and highly specialized design services, such as data center construction.  The pandemic has slowed down the commercial construction and many hotels, mall, and resort projects have been put on hold or canceled.  However, both residential and industrial construction (mainly infrastructure projects) increased during 2020 and is still showing the same trend in 2021.  

Sweden has ambitious plans to become climate neutral by 2045 and the built environment is one of the key areas in this plan, accounting for 20 percent of Sweden’s climate impact. The government’s Fossil Free Sweden program (fossilfrittsverige.se) provides a roadmap for the construction and civil engineering sector, with goals to achieve a carbon-neutral value chain.  The National Housing Board (boverket.se) also provides smart and energy-efficient recommendations and statutes for new construction, renovation, and retrofit. These programs and recommendations aim to reduce the built environment sector’s environmental impact, shorten the planning and construction times, reduce total construction costs, and facilitate new business models for the sector.  

Smart built environment is a wide sector ranging from sustainable construction technologies to digital services.  Some of the leading sub-sectors include:  low- and plus-energy construction methods; energy-efficient retrofit technologies and windows, doors, and insulation materials; energy-efficient building supplies and materials; innovative HVAC solutions and heat recovery ventilation system; building performance measurement systems for energy and water use; building automation and service integration solutions for connected smart homes and offices.   

Sweden stands at the forefront of smart and energy-efficient construction in the EU, and there are several national and municipal public-private sector strategic innovation projects in place across the country, ranging from awareness creation to digitalization. These projects provide good opportunities for U.S. companies in the design and construction sector.  

Smart Built Environment Program (smartbuilt.se) is a 12-year strategic research and innovation program from 2016-2028, aiming to create new knowledge, skills, services, and products through the integration of Building Information Modeling and Industrialized Construction.
The municipal project Royal Seaport (stockholroyalseaport.com) is a climate-positive, fossil-fuel-free suburb with carbon dioxide emissions of less than 1.5 tons per person.   The apartments are interactive and provide the tenant’s tools to manage every aspect of their living.  The construction started in 2011 and is due to finish in 2030.  

Trade Events   

Nordbygg, April 26-29, 2022, Stockholm , the largest building and construction fair in Northern Europe.

09/24/2021