Municipality/ Umeå

Sustainable Ålidhem

Sustainable Ålidhem is a unique project for sustainable urban development which includes social, technical, environmental and economical aspects. The overall objective of the project is to reduce energy use in the area, create a more comfortable and safe environment and transform Ålidhem to a sustainable neighborhood.

At Christmas 2008 a major fire damaged 71 apartments at Geografigränd totally. This was the starting point of Sustainable Ålidhem. The neighborhood that was burned down has been transformed to 137 new sustainable apartments with high energy efficiency and the nearby houses with 405 apartments has been renovated.

Umeå Energi, the city of Umeå and Bostaden together received 33 million SEK for the project from the Delegation for Sustainable Cities.

The main objective is to half the use of energy in the area. On the roofs of Matematikgränd and Geografigränd photovoltaic-cells (pv-cells) have been built by Bostaden and Umeå Energi. Today we have 2650 square meters of pv-cells, producing around 350 000 kWh each year.

New ventilation and heat recovery

Sustainable Ålidhem includes about 542 apartments, of which 137 are new constructions. The buildings are provided with new ventilation with heat recovery and energy-efficient LED lights. Individual metering and billing of electricity and hot and cold water is also installed in the new apartments.

Umeå has a relatively cold climate, but the district heating in the area is well developed and is currently 99 percent fossil free. To reduce energy use washing machines connected to the district heating system, have been installed in the buildings. In this way, the district heating is used in a new way.

The winter garden

The winter garden is a green meeting place in many ways. It has beautiful green vegetation on the inside, a soft carpet of sedum on the roof and it is built with a focus on sustainability. Inside temperature is kept comfortable with reused return heat from the low-energy houses next door and the electricity used in the winter garden is produced by pv-cells on the roof of the building next door. A display shows the consumption of hot water and energy in real time. All buildings in the neighborhood are built to use a maximumof 65 kWh/m2/year.

Rooms of opportunities

The winter garden could only be built thanks to the project Sustainable Ålidhem and the financial support from The Delegation for Sustainable Cities. The winter garden is an energy-efficient venue to be used primarily by the residents of the newly built neighborhood and the surrounding area. The winter garden is equipped with modern technology. Bostaden offers wireless internet access and there are five different screens. The room can thus be used for many different activities.


Together with Umeå University we have evaluated the project to find out how we can renovate as sustainable as possible. For example in January 2011, energy meters were placed in two identical houses - one renovated in order to significantly reduce the use of energy, and one that has served as a reference building. With the conclusions we figured out how the rest of the building would be renovated cost efficient. One objective has been to not increase the rents with more than 10 percent after the renovations and this was something that we could reach by planning the renovations in a proper way.


Sustainable Ålidhem has received many awards such as Sustainable Energy Europe Award 2013, category Living, Environmental Award 2013, city of Umeå, National Energy Globe Award 2014 and from Sustainable Innovation in 2014.


Town: Umeå
Find us: Geografigränd 2
Visiting: All year
Duration: 2 hours
Languages: Swedish & English

Business/ Bostaden


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Visitors shall bear all costs related to the visit including flights, accommodation, all meals, translations etc.

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