Sweden has set a goal that by 2020 greenhouse gas emissions will be 40 percent less than they are currently. Further, it aims to increase energy efficiency by 20 percent, to achieve renewable energy use of 50 percent, and to recover at least 70 percent of construction waste.
The country's most recent climate policy framework set out an ambitious long-term goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. The emissions milestones covered by this framework are aimed at, for example, transport, small energy plants, and housing. Since the above goals influence the way we design, construct, and use our buildings, as well as the associated infrastructure, achieving greater efficiency in both embodied and operational energy became the central theme of many fields related to the built environment.
Research on Energy Efficiency
Owing to the critical role the social sciences play in improving energy efficiency at the societal level, they are closely integrated into our research endeavours. As a consequence, the research at our faculty is both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary, and is frequently conducted in collaboration with various government organisations and private businesses
Collaboration with Industry
Byggdialog Dalarna (Swedish website) is the main vehicle of our university-industry collaboration. It serves to mediate between the Department of Construction and local industry by both conveying timely and critical questions from the industry and by sharing our research findings with local stakeholders.
Dalarna University is also part of the national renovation centre project Renoveringscentrum (Swedish website) that focuses on building renovations. The aim of the project is to increase collaboration and knowledge transfer between the construction industry and the academic world so as to then be able to deliver environmentally, economically and socially sustainable solutions.
International and National Research
Our researchers both lead and participate in many Swedish and European research projects concerning energy-efficient and adaptive building envelopes, occupant behaviour, indoor and outdoor human thermal comfort, as well as novel heating and cooling systems suited for building renovations. For the list of ongoing projects, please visit the profile's main research page: Energy, Forest and Built Environments.
We have several laboratories and technical installations for research and educational purposes. These include the solar laboratory with test rigs for PV, solar heating and wind power, the combustion laboratory, the climate chamber and the facility known as the "cube". The overall heat transfer coefficients (U-value) of thermal insulations or complete wall assemblies can be tested or - in the case of new products - determined in the climate chamber. The "cube", which is a small massive timber construction, is used to assess energy use and air-tightness impacts of this new material.