The Sara Cultural Center is an innovative wooden skyscraper situated in the Skellefteå in northern Sweden and was built to leave a green footprint on the construction industry and help the city tackle the environmental crisis with sustainable new construction.
According to the United Nations Environment Program, the construction industry is one of the main ones responsible for global energy-related carbon emissions. Cement production is the largest industrial emitter of CO2 in the world, and, on the other hand, wood captures carbon dioxide, connecting it to the atmosphere and storing it.
Thus, the design of this cultural center complements Skelleftea’s effort to make the local construction free of materials harmful to the environment. Its construction was made with prefabricated 3D modules of cross-laminated wood panels, coming from sustainable forests located about 60km from the city. In designing the building, all carbon emissions were studied, from the materials used in each room, to the energy used and the transport of materials.
It is estimated that 5631 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent were emitted in the entire construction. However, the renewable energy produced by its 374 photovoltaic solar panels and the building’s carbon capture will offset more than double these emissions. Yes, because the sustainable objective of this innovative and sustainable skyscraper goes further: it has solar panels that can fully power it and store excess energy in the basement.
With 20 floors, 75 meters high and 27,867 square meters, the second largest wooden structure in the world comprises six theater stages, a library, two art galleries, a conference center and a hotel with 205 rooms. It is predicted to have a lifespan of 100 years and to capture 9 million kg of CO2 emissions during that period.