What is STED?STED stands for Sustainable Transformation & Environmental Design. This is the shorter version of Innovation in Design Methods for Sustainable Transformation of the Existing Nordic Building Stock: Energy, Environmental Design and Life cycle Thinking.
The partnershipThe project is part of the Nordic Built, Nordic Innovation program and was first initiated by Peter Andreas Sattrup in 2014. Later the project has been kindly handed over to Kristoffer Negendahl and Lotte Bjerregaard Jensen. The project involves the four universities: Chalmers University of Technology, (Sweden), Norwegian University of Science and Technology, (Norway), The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation (Denmark) and the Technical University of Denmark, (Denmark) as well as the five architectural studios: White Arkitekter, (Sweden), Vandkunsten Arkitekter, (Denmark), Helen & Hard, (Norway), Studio Granda, (Iceland) and OOPEAA, (Finland).
In the combined efforts of the eight STED-members the aims of the STED are:
- To develop design methods and solutions for renovation and new buildings combining energy efficiency, environmental design and life cycle thinking
- To create a Nordic research and innovation platform for design, renovation and transformation in architecture
- To create innovative ICT services and tools for performance modeling and resource management for design and renovation
A general description of the projectOne of the most obvious questions today is how to improve the quality of the built environment to accommodate the changing needs of populations while dramatically improving resource efficiency? Solutions need to be energy efficient, durable and affordable in a life cycle perspective and offer value socially, economically and environmentally. Renovating buildings beyond mere technical upgrades offer opportunities to create innovative design solutions which are not only energy efficient but have positive impacts on local environments, communities and experienced quality of life. Speeding up the processes of innovation and research in renovation reduces risk of implementing failing solutions.
This project seeks to generate a new research and innovation platform for universities, architects and engineers in the Nordic Countries collaborating with experts in economics and management, - building on established research and practice competencies within the fields of sustainable renovation, energy, environmental design, life cycle assessment, urban metabolism, trans-disciplinarity, digital modeling and fabrication. The partners in this innovation project will all contribute specialist competencies as well as renovation building projects that will serve as cases for innovation of design methods and solutions for renovation of the Nordic built environment. The research dimension in this project will ensure that solutions are generalizable and made available outside the partner group of the project. A pilot case resulted in awards for two proposals submitted to the recent Nordic Built Challenge design competition. The Jury recommended their research contribution to design methods and suggested it should be further implemented in innovative design solutions. It is a critical goal of the project to do so, now in collaboration with Nordic partners.
The three major STED challenges
- Sustainable Transformation of Existing Buildings: Architectural design holds the key to increasing building performance dramatically. More than that, renovation projects offers a chance to improve the quality of the built environment on many more parameters than just energy efficiency: Architectural design may improve wellbeing, welfare, health, social cohesion, security and economic value too.
- Knowledge Management and Innovation in Architecture. Architecture, engineering, social sciences and economy competencies need to be integrated in the earliest stages of renovation processes to achieve the best possible results, yet knowledge management for innovation is rarely used in a systematic manner among architectural practices and external partners.
- Design Processes and Design Methods using ICT for Decision Support and Design processes for renovation are under intense pressure of time and economy, while solutions have long lasting impacts. ICT offer essential tools for resource management, performance modeling and decision support, but services need to be developed.
How does STED create added Nordic Value?
- By targeting innovative generalizable design methods and solutions for the Nordic countries, knowledge and know-how is created, which may offer better living conditions in the built projects that are likely to result from the collaboration, better economy and competitive advantages which are applicable outside the region and outside the partner group too.
- By creating a Nordic Research and Innovation platform in architecture, it is the aim to accelerate knowledge creation through rapid and fertile exchanges between research and practice for the built environment.
- By adding Information and Communication Technology (ICT) competencies for analytical modeling across borders, it is likely that methods may be improved rapidly, which may again result in competitive advantages to businesses as well as improving the research and education foundation in participating countries.
How does STED promote sustainability?The purpose of architecture is to create better living conditions. When architecture is understood as a social and spatial 'technology' of environmental design which manages resources in a life-cycle perspective, - architecture is a major controlling factor in social,
environmental and economic sustainable development. Successful design solutions are created by teams of architects, engineers and other specialists in collaboration with users, inhabitants and clients, and offer considerable value to the surrounding society.
In this project the overall quality of the built environment is the main issue, and new ways of supporting design decisions through knowledge management and innovations in design methods, solutions and the use of ICT for performance assessment and decision support serve this higher purpose. Apart from resulting in concrete, realized projects over the three year period this project seeks to strengthen Nordic design culture through collaboration and example.
How does STED create new value/innovation?The project creates value and innovation in several ways:
- By creating a catalogue of generalizable architectural concepts and design solutions
- By creating new explicit methods for sustainable design which may be applied in practice and taught in universities.
- By speeding up knowledge creation through partnership and trans-disciplinary collaboration across borders.
- By (most likely) being able to build demonstration projects contributed by the partnering offices within the project period.
- By advancing the use of ICT for decision support, giving competitive edge to practice, research and education.
- By creating a proper design methodology for full integration of energy, environmental design and life cycle thinking in architectural design, which will be an important original research contribution, and offer new dimensions to sustainability in architectural concepts.