One of the University’s goals for sustainable development addresses the environmental impact of our buildings:
Overall Goal 2021-2026
"Climate impact and resource use linked to buildings will be reduced through more efficient use of the energy supplied, more efficient use of the premises, more own-produced energy and requirements for environmental certification in rebuilding, and new construction. The climate impact from energy use must be reduced at such a rate that the climate goal (minus 6 percent per year) can be achieved."
The Environmental Impact of Buildings
Buildings affect the environment in various ways throughout their life cycle. It is estimated that just over one half of the environmental impact of a building occurs during the construction phase. The manufacture and transport of construction material and the construction process itself involve the use of natural resources, the release of greenhouse gases, the use of environmentally hazardous chemicals and the generation of a large amount of waste. When the completed building is in use, its environmental impact depends largely on the energy used for heat and electricity.
Even if Dalarna University does not own the buildings it operates from, opportunities still exist to reduce their environmental impact. Examples of possible measures are as follows:
- Reduce the space per person and/or activity. This is possible through, for example, more efficient use of teaching premises, room sharing and increased flexibility.
- Build and renovate for low environmental impact. When there is a need to renovate, rebuild or build new, the University requires certification according to the certification system Miljöbyggnad (www.sgbc.se).
- Adopt energy-saving measures. By improving the building envelope and installing more energy-efficient technology for ventilation systems, lighting, cooling systems and car engine heaters, energy consumption can be reduced. The need for supplied energy can also be reduced by producing energy within the property itself.
- Change our behaviour. Everyone who works or studies on university premises can reduce their energy consumption: for example, lower their office temperature, turn off lights in empty rooms, and turn off computers/other electronics instead of leaving them in standby mode.