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Blogg för dig inom fastighetssektorn WSPs fastighetsblogg håller dig uppdaterad om vad som är på gång inom fastighetssektorn och hur WSP kan hjälpa dig. WSP tillhandahåller många olika tjänster för fastigheter som besiktningar, skadebedömningar, due diligence, underhållsplaner och förvaltning.

 
 

One million problems

April 08, 2016
 

The 50’s and 60’s in Sweden passed without oil crisis’, energy saving, interest rate shocks, and unemployment. Accompanied by a shortage of quality housing the reaction to this was the creation of the Miljonprogrammet (The million program). Between 1964 and 1975 one million dwelling were built. Of these dwelling approximately two thirds were built and exist today as large apartment blocks.

 

The original concept for the apartment blocks was a quick and simple building style that could be torn down and replaced by more resilient buildings when the demand for dwelling had eased.  The planned lifespan for these buildings was 40 years at the time of construction.  Now approximately 45 years later these apartment blocks make-up over 20% of Sweden’s residences and the country faces a new housing shortage.

The buildings are generally poorly insulated and in combination with one-pipe heating systems and leaky window vents, resulting in draughty apartments with poorly regulated heating.  Exterior walls were often built of aerated concrete panels resting on concrete floors which were not insulated against the outdoors creating a thermal bridge leading the cold into the apartments through the floor slab.  The aerated concrete panels often involved the use of a blue slate as aggregate material (now known as blåbetong [blue concrete]) that gives of radon, a known carcinogen. In addition these exterior concrete panels were not of the best quality and are now showing signs of severe weathering, and in some cases the steel reinforcement has been exposed by cracking and can be severely corroded.

These types of apartment blocks were also built in other parts of Europe and today can be found in the suburbs of London and a large part of the former eastern bloc.  Similar problems occur whatever the location.  The problems associated with this building type are not isolated to Sweden.

Today these apartment blocks require an in-depth analysis to be successfully rejuvenated in a reinvestment process.  Innovative building technics of the 60’s and 70’s that have shown to have a short lifespan require a replacement and upgrading to today’s standard.  WSP Real Estate has the competence to address these renovation challenges with economical solutions to return these buildings to profitability.  We have even been involved in Due Diligence risk analysis for transactions involving these apartment blocks.

 

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