ESS Rated Outstanding for High Sustainability Standards

Campus gym
Campus building & outdoor gym Photo:ESS/Roger Eriksson

European Spallation Source’s (ESS) strong focus on sustainability in the construction and operation of the research facility leads to new sustainability standards for research infrastructures worldwide. Recently, the ESS Office building in Lund, Sweden, was environmentally certified Outstanding under the international sustainability assessment method BREEAM. 

At the end of June, ESS received the official BREEAM certificate acknowledging that the ESS Office has achieved an Outstanding level, the highest rating in the international sustainability assessment for buildings, with one of the highest scores worldwide (91.5%).

“Since the beginning, ESS has had a very strong sustainability focus, aiming to become one of the most environmentally sustainable research infrastructures worldwide,” says Kent Hedin, ESS Head of Conventional Facilities. “We decided even before the construction of the facility started in 2014 to use BREEAM as a backbone for our sustainability requirements. The Outstanding rating is proof that all our efforts and hard work, together with our partners, to build the facility in a sustainable way have been successful.”


Campus atrium

Photo: ESS/Roger Eriksson

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) was the world’s first building assessment system when established in the UK in 1990. It is today the globally leading environmental assessment, with almost 600 000 buildings certified in 89 countries. BREEAM measures buildings against a wide range of variables, including energy efficiency, sustainable materials, water management and innovation initiatives.
The BREEAM certificate obtained is for the Office building, however ESS and construction partner Skanska have followed the same sustainability requirements for all the 26 buildings at the ESS site.

“To reach the Outstanding level requires a long-term thinking and lot of effort from everyone involved, from designers and management to procurement and subcontractors, in order to handle every aspect in a sustainable way, such as waste management, transport, and energy use,” says Karin Svedin, ESS Campus Project Manager. “We are proud to see that this extraordinary teamwork has borne fruit, and believe that ESS will be used as a reference for sustainable building in the future.”

The BREEAM Outstanding rating took the specific character of ESS into consideration, including the ESS recovery of excess heat from the facility for reuse in the ESS own buildings and in the local central heating grid.