Brunnshög - a smart city here and now


Brunnshög is the brand new district in the city of Lund, Sweden, which is now being built and shaped into a smart city with smart buildings and a focus on people and a sustainable lifestyle. This smart city will be full of innovations and future meeting places for people. Here you will also find a clear closeness to nature and culture.

How everything started

The story of this new, smart and sustainable district in Lund began when the decision was made to place two of the world's most modern research facilities very close to each other in a then almost undeveloped area, just outside the city of Lund. The two research facilities in question are Max IV and ESS. Max IV makes the invisible visible with its fantastic X-ray technology. The ESS facility bases its research technology on the world's most powerful neutron source. Here, researchers from all over the world will, among other things, be able to in detail study new materials of the future.

“Many people are talking about a smarter and more sustainable future. This future is now being realized in Brunnshög. And everything is created around the people who will live here, with a focus on both their future needs and their needs here and now”, says Henriette Jareklew, Digital Leader and Head of Innovation at LKF, the municipality’s housing company.

"When we planned to build in Brunnshög, we looked at the importance of sustainable living and sustainable building, with efficient resource utilization of energy and materials," says Henriette.

The smart city of Brunnshög is an area of about 225 hectares. The vision for Brunnshög is "A world-leading living, innovation and research environment." This means that even when Brunnshög is fully developed, the smart city will be a test bed for future pilot projects for many years to come. About 40,000 people will live and work in the new smart district. The two research facilities will make a big impact in the city. They will accommodate thousands of researchers of various kinds and from around the world. This will be a perfect contribution to an innovative, multicultural and a lively district.

"Brunnshög will be a unique district in many ways," says Henriette. “For example, we will intertwine urban city with rural land and nature. This will, of course, contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle. Some parts of the city are urban with modern houses, city life with restaurants and shops. And other parts of the city are built more like a countryside village with narrow streets that lead directly to nature. ”

The nature of the smart city will consist of a 21 hectare big garden. Here you will be able to find forest, meadow land, places for recreation and exercise. And the garden will be built in a way that encourages biodiversity. In connection to the large garden, there will also be a botanical garden with over 30,000 different plants from all corners of the world. So if you live in or visit Brunnshög, you will always be close to city life but also always be close to nature.

Mobility and sustainable transport

The vision is that 2/3 of all traffic to and from Brunnshög will take place on foot, by bicycle or by public transport. “In the smart and sustainable city, a maximum of 1/3 of all traffic should be by car”, says Henriette.

To make this an easier goal to achieve, Brunnshög will have a brand new tram that runs between the train station in Lund city and the new district. This is a trip for about 15 minutes.

There are also easily accessible mobile hubs that allow people to connect to bicycle pools and, in some places, even car pools. The cars that are available in the pools are all electric. There will also be easy access to small bicycle workshops if you need help fixing your bike or if you want to do it yourself.

The streets in the smart city are planned and designed so that it will always be easy to reach all different parts of Brunnshög on foot or by bike.

Clean and sustainable energy - important in the smart city

Brunnshög will be a district with a lot of focus on clean and sustainable energy. One of the fantastic things about this smart city is that the energy and heat that are by-products at the research facilities, will be reused in Brunnshög. To take advantage of this extra energy, the heating company in Lund is building the world's largest low temperature district heating network.

“The energy, which would otherwise only be wasted, is reused to heat not only the houses but also streets and other hubs in Brunnshög. This is very unique and environmental friendly. And if you ever have been to Sweden, you know that we can have cold winters and use a lot of energy for heating”, says Henriette.

To use energy as sustainably as possible, the houses in Brunnshög are built as passive houses. This means that they use a minimum of energy to be heated and then the heat is kept inside in a very efficient way.
Solar cells are also being built on the roofs of the new houses that are being built in Brunnshög. The energy that tenants use for lighting, cooking and so on will mostly be energy generated from the roof's solar cells. The energy that is not used is stored in large batteries in the basements.

“Our vision is also that this energy can be shared between different buildings in the district. Because different buildings will have different needs for energy, depending on what time of day it is”, says Henriette.

Underground waste management in the city

In the smart city, a sustainable lifestyle is important. And in Brunnshög as much as possible of all waste that generates will be recycled. The waste that still remains even after recycling needs to be taken care of in the best way possible. This waste is placed in garbage dumps that are adapted for quick and easy underground waste management. There will be no trucks or lorries to collect the garbage that will be driving in Brunnshög. The garbage is instead compressed and sent directly to the waste management center via an underground pipeline that uses pneumatic infrastructure. “This gives us a waste system that is both invisible, hygienic and sustainable, says Henriette”.

The Xplorion

Let us zoom in on one of the buildings in Brunnshög. This special building is called "the Xplorion" and will be used as a Living Lab and test bed when LKF continues its developing work with smart buildings.

Community and the opportunity to socialize is important in a sustainable and smart city. That is why we have built many common areas to give opportunities for natural meeting places in the Xplorion. The whole idea when we started planning the construction process for the Xplorion is based on a sharing is caring concept. “It is a new type of housing where the lifestyle of sharing with and borrowing from each other is encouraged and simplified. In a sustainable world, not everyone should have to own everything themselves. Here we instead want to encourage our tenants to share tools, furniture, food leftovers and so on. Or maybe to help each other with different services. And this should not just happen inside your own building. This should happen between people in the whole area ", says Henriette. In the Xplorion, each tenant will have access to a simple and digital booking system for easy sharing and borrowing. This booking system is one of the components of a larger digital platform for the tenants.

Service and opportunities

To simplify an almost car-free, and also in other ways sustainable life, there are several services that make this possible for those who live in the Xplorion.

For example, if you don’t have your own bike, you can always borrow one in the house's bike pool. Here you have both regular bikes and cargo bikes. The bikes are easy to book via the digital platform or at the bike racks. It is also possible for tenants to take their bikes all the way to the apartment door, without any problems. This is ensured by wide attic corridors and stairwells and of course solid and large lifts.

As a resident, you also get access to a digital service where you always easy get the information when the next public transport leaves for the city. The rent also includes membership in a car pool, so you have always the opportunity to book a car when you know you have an errand that requires one.


Sustainable lifestyle

Another vision for the Xplorion building, is to be self-sufficient in the electricity that are consumed by the tenants. It is the solar panels installed on the roof that will ensure this. It should also be easy to consume electricity as sustainably as possible. In the tenant's digital platform, there will be a tool to monitor in real time how much electricity is being used.

To save the consumption of electricity, there will be a "Now I leave home" button in every apartment in the Xplorion. When the tenant leaves their apartment and click on the button, this will ensure that all electricity that isn’t necessary, turns off until you get home again.

In the Xplorion, even the washrooms are built for a sustainable and smart lifestyle. Of course digital booking is used and it is possible to book each washing machine separately. You can’t use your own detergent when you wash, the smart washing machines automatically dispense eco certified detergent in a closed and environmental friendly system.

“In our vision for the future, we don’t use any detergent at all. Instead, we use deionized cold water to wash. We are not really there yet, but we hope to be soon ", says Henriette.

“We also have outdoor drying areas that don’t use energy to dry the laundry. This is as a complement to the electric dryers. Last, but not least, we also want the washing experience to be a time when you can meet your neighbors and socialize. ”

Water is another product that we’ll have to use carefully in the future. And to make it easy for the tenants to consume water in a healthy and sustainable way, a digital tool will be provided, where they can follow how they consume water in real time. They will also be able to get information about how much water a sustainable shower, for example, should use. With the help of the tool, you can become more aware of your water consumption and then change your behavior to a more sustainable way of consuming water. The tool works a little like nudging.

Smart Home Control

Another interesting feature is the digital platform or Smart Home Control that every tenant and resident in the Xplorion will have access to. Here several digital services will be available. All of them to simplify the everyday life for tenants.

Here are some examples of digital services that will be available. Some are already developed and some are yet to be realized: The tenant will be able to update their contact information themselves and also choose through which digital channel they want to communicate with us, possibility to administrate and pay the rent, easy administrate the digital lock, real time information about the temperature inside and outside, visual information in real time for water and electricity consumption, information about how much electricity the solar panels produces, possibility to book a car in the car pool or a bike in the bicycle pool, booking time to laundry, etc

This is also a platform for communication. Not only among the tenants in their own building but in our vision also with people who live or work within the Brunnshög area. Of course this will be a main channel that LKF will communicate with its tenants.

Other services that will be available on the platform:

• offers from nearby stores
• real time information of how best to travel in to the city
• possibility to administrate lighting at home for those who wants to
• last mile services when shopping online

Success factors when we build the smart and sustainable city

Finally we can highlight some of the most important key factors to why the projects Brunnshög and the Xplorion have become so successful.

An important factor is that everyone works together to realize the smart and sustainable city. It is the municipality of Lund, different contractors, different property owners, restaurant owners, shop owners, the citizens' focus groups that together create this future city.

“We are also building for the future. We try to use as little material as possible when we build and also as sustainable material as possible. And both the city and the buildings in Brunnshög are made flexible. At least 30% of the area in Brunnshög must be able to be redeveloped into agricultural land again, if this will be necessary in the future. The apartments have flexible layouts for different needs at different stages in life.

Both the smart district Brunnshög and the Xplorion building, will be used as test beds and Living Labs for many years to come. It ensures continuous innovation and new solutions, both digital and other types of innovations. So - Brunnshög will never stop developing ", concludes Henriette.

23 Henriette Jareklew


Henriette Jareklew
Digital Leader / Head of Innovation

Henriette has successfully worked some 20 years with digitization, digital transformation and change management both in the private business sector and in the public sector.

For about 15 years she has held the role of CIO / CDO in various organizations, but in recent years she has chosen to focus on urban development, smart cities, smart homes, innovation and digital transformation in the real estate industry. She now has the role Digital Leader/Head of Innovations at the real estate company LKF. Here she is a driving force in the development of the new smart district Brunnshög but also the building Xplorion, a future Living Lab for digital houses.

Special areas: Digital development, Innovation, IoT, AI, ML, Big Data, Smart City, Smart homes, change management, customer journey

Henriette is a global speaker and you might have listened to her the last year at: Proptech of Sweden webinar, Nordic Smart Cities Summit, Nordic IT Transform Summit, WIT Summit in Europe.
Henriette was shortlisted as Transformation Leader of the Year and Digital Leader of the Year in Europe 2019.

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