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The climate-neutral store is a showcase for Lidl

The food chain Lidl wants to build a store that is climate neutral both during the construction phase and during operation. Together with IVL Swedish Environmental Institute, a completely new classification system, NollCO2, is being tested. The Lidl store in Visby forms a model for future climate-neutral construction.

- We are at the forefront when it comes to sustainability and it overrides all parts; from which products we sell to transports to and from the stores - everything. Then we thought about how we should develop that approach within the property side, says Mattias Tas who is responsible for sustainability at Lidl fastigheter.

Lidl has made a property trip in Sweden and currently has 191 stores, most of them built according to its own concept. With the new retail premises in central Visby, they want to show that it is possible to build a store that is climate-neutral both when it is built and during the actual operation.

The new classification system NollCO₂ will give net zero emissions over 40 years

Lidl's grocery stores in Växjö, Södertälje and Kungsängen have already received attention for their environmental focus. Now they wanted to go one step further and aim for net-zero emissions during the store's life cycle. They wanted to try a new classification system NollCO₂, developed by the Sweden Green Building Council, an organization for sustainable community building where both Lidl and IVL Swedish Environmental Institute are members.

NollCO₂ means that the construction and operation of the building will result in as little carbon dioxide as possible. The greenhouse gas emissions that are nevertheless generated during the building's life cycle must be compensated. All in all, the result will be net zero over a period of 40 years.

Johan Larsson is an energy consultant at IVL Swedish Environmental Institute:
- The whole system is flexible, it does not control material selection or energy type, for example. But in order to be able to get down to net zero emissions, we must get a building that is as climate-friendly as possible. And the emissions must be reported with detailed calculations.

IVL analyzes the building's climate debt

IVL Swedish Environmental Institute's role in this project is to analyze the building's climate debt during the operational phase and at the same time act as an energy specialist during the design. The NollCO₂ classification system has not been officially released, but Lidl's grocery store in Visby is the first pilot project in a test phase.
- This is the first time we test run the criteria and it is very exciting, says Mattias Tas. We have been working for a year to get to the point of mapping all emissions.

Johan Larsson at IVL is impressed:
- It is bold of Lidl to test a completely new certification system in a sharp project. They should have all the credit for that. Lidl has a strong drive in its sustainability work and here they are at the forefront.

Mattias Tas says he hired IVL after a recommendation. Johan Larsson has solid experience in environmental classification of buildings and surrounding analyzes. The fact that IVL has been out early with life cycle analyzes and has good experience of emission factors linked to different types of energy also weighed in the choice.

Hourly calculations of electricity from different energy sources and countries

- We needed to get expert help because it was such advanced calculations. Johan Larsson has done an excellent job of producing hourly values. It is an extensive study that he has modeled. No one had carried out these calculations before, says Mattias Tas.

Johan Larsson's task is challenging from a purely computational point of view. With today's electricity system, it is difficult to make exact calculations of the climate debt, because the electricity comes from different energy sources and different countries and it varies constantly. In order to get as close to reality as possible during operation, the emissions are therefore calculated hourly, ie with 8,760 calculation points per year.
- It is not common with the level of detail we have here, says Johan Larsson. And to include the actual energy use of the business in calculations and accounting feels like a big step in the right direction when it comes to assessing a building's climate footprint.

In a grocery store, the business is integrated into the operation. To reduce the building's energy use and thus greenhouse gas emissions during the operational phase, a technology is used to recover the energy from the food coolers. It is then used to heat the room.
- We have a system solution with a reversible cooling heat pump that works towards the condenser side of the food coolers, says Mattias Tas.

Solar panels compensate for the store's carbon dioxide

In addition, the entire roof is covered with solar cells. The solar panels produce electricity that is used in the plant but which is also exported online. Exactly exporting electricity is a way to compensate for the carbon dioxide that the store produces after all. Anyone who visits the store building in Visby immediately sees that it does not look like a regular Lidl store. The façade is made of wood paneling - which in itself is not a requirement according to the ZeroCO₂ certification. In the future, one can imagine a building in concrete - which is developed in a CO-efficient way.

During the design of the building, IVL worked closely with architects and installation designers. Link Arkitektur in Stockholm has designed the building and also acted as general designer. The store is planned to open in the summer of 2020 and according to Mattias Tas at Lidl, the work is going according to plan.
- Right now it's like on rails and it's fun to watch. We have involved architects, environmental consultants, construction contractors and material manufacturers towards the goal that we must pass the zero certification.
For Lidl, the store in Visby will be an important showcase.

- It benefits our brand, we are at the forefront of sustainability work. It also benefits our expansion. In addition, we notice an international interest in climate-neutral construction, says Mattias Tas.

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