The innovation project in Bålsta


Planning our new innovation logistics facility 

One of our three so-called Earth Shot projects is being built in Bålsta, which aims to explore different ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment. We hope to find new ways and we want to share them with the industry. This is our first Earth Shot, exploring the path to net zero emissions throughout the life cycle.


Focus areas

The project explores a new way to develop buildings with three ambitions in focus:

1. Net zero embodied carbon
2. Net zero operational carbon
3. Net zero additional cost

This is a big challenge. We would like to share insights, mistakes and lessons learned from this project to inspire how buildings can be designed, built and managed with a lower carbon footprint.

The innovation project combines traditional tools with new technologies 

Bålsta is a short 50 km drive west of Stockholm. The city itself has some 15.000 inhabitants, but from here you can reach more than 3,5 million people within just 60 minutes. The area has a large concentration of logistics facilities due to its proximity to the E18 highway, connecting Stockholm and Oslo. Next to two other Nrep projects, this is where we will realize the first of our three Earth Shot projects. At the core of our CO2 savings in this project is a combination of traditional tools and new technologies:

Embodied carbon

Selected organic materials are used to reduce the embedded carbon dioxide. A new design and optimization of the logistics facility enables a transition from fossil-based materials to materials with a smaller carbon footprint compared to a typical Nrep logistics building. For example, by optimizing the base plate and using cement replacement.

For walls and roofs, usually made of steel with a high share of virgin and fossil-based stone wool, we will use wood for structures and façade as well as biogenic insulation.



Operational carbon

Logistics facilities consume a lot of energy. Reducing the carbon emissions from operations will be done by using industrial heat pumps and fully electrifying the logistics facility by installing solar panels. The ambition is also to install a battery power, for peak demand from the equipment and vehicles, and to contribute the surplus electricity to the grid.



Additional cost

While we believe that net zero on the carbon emissions is obtainable, doing so without additional cost is – to be honest – a bit more difficult. At least today, until carbon friendly materials and technologies reach better scale, they do come with extra cost.


Project focus beyond carbon emissions

SOCIAL AND HEALTH: In the office part of the logistics building, the focus is on the health and well-being of the users. The interior is made with high-quality material choices and spaces are created to enhance the social interaction between colleagues and customers for a stronger sense of community in the workplace. The objective of the project is the BREEAM certification Outstanding which covers all aspects of good quality for indoor air and acoustics as well as visual comfort.

BIODIVERSITY: By planting local plants and trees that focus on natural recovery, it is ensured that nearby plants spread, thus promoting biodiversity. Open storm water ponds and bushes with flowers can serve as food and habitat for amphibians, birds and insects.


Project summary

  • PROJECT TYPE: Logistics

  • LOCATION: Bålsta in Håbo municipality, a short 50 km drive west of Stockholm

  • SIZE: Altogether 20 845 square meters, including warehouse and office spaces

  • COMPLETION: 2024

  • ARCHITECT: Equator

  • SUSTAINABILITY PROFILE: The project aims to explore how the carbon footprint can be as low as possible from both the construction process and operations throughout the entire life cycle. The property is developed with plans to apply for a BREEAM Outstanding certification.