Sustainability focus behind the scenes of Medicon Village

Medicon Village

For many, Medicon Village is a research park with labs, care rooms, offices and meeting spaces in a park setting. For Medicon Village's operating organization it is also a workplace with complex and technology-intensive premises with a value of billions that must be operated, maintained and developed to ensure the right accessibility, at the same time as installations and premises must be developed.

– An important part of the ambition to develop the science park is to think sustainably in both large and small ways. This applies, for example, when we choose the "Miljöbyggnad Guld" classification for energy solutions in the new lab building, but also when we change systems and upgrade existing premises, says operations manager Mats Theander.

What sets Medicon Village apart from many other facilities is the very high availability that lab and healthcare operations require for their operations to function. There are few facilities outside of Medicon Village offering central backup power, uninterruptible power for priority parts and in some houses redundant air conditioners.

– We make daily decisions where we balance economics and environmental considerations. Daring to question self-evident truths is a must if we want to continue to be at the forefront of our sustainability work and how we minimize our climate footprint.

A practical example is that Mats and his colleagues are combining capital-preserving maintenance and new opportunities to save energy in a large project in the huge pre-clinical house of 11,800 sqm, where they are now both changing and upgrading control units for the air conditioning systems. The systems work well but have been in operation for almost 30 years. Some spare parts are hard to come by at a reasonable cost.

By replacing the control systems in existing control cabinets, the lifespan of the air conditioning systems is extended by 20-30 years. The change also provides new opportunities for energy optimization in combination with increasing the lifespan and ensuring operational reliability.

Everything old that is replaced is checked and can in many cases be used as spare parts in other installations. This to avoid discarding material that actually works, even if wearing parts are replaced. At the same time, there are projects where the technology has transformed in a way that necessitates completely new installations to achieve energy optimization. This may apply, for example, to changing dampers, sensors and fans.

– For obvious reasons, we have a big focus on chasing kilowatt hours. It goes without saying that we as a research park must do what we can to contribute to a more sustainable society in line with the UN's 17 global goals for sustainable development and Agenda 2030.

Other major maintenance projects that are carried out behind the scenes during the spring include upgrading lifts, fire alarms and security installations. In addition, a broken transformer must be replaced. There are a total of 20 transformers, where several are installed so that redundancy is created and they can replace each other.

That form of safety thinking applies to several critical installations, including electricity where the diesel-powered reserve power plants of 5 MW ensure the operation of prioritized parts if the external electricity supply goes down. Even for IT, redundancy is high, with parallel networks that can handle operational disruptions.

– When you walk around the facility and see with what care it was planned and built and how we work today to maintain the high standard and operational reliability, you feel proud to be part of that work, concludes Mats Theander.