Magasin X – a new landmark and a trailblazer for sustainable building entirely in wood

In the heart of Uppsala, Sweden, NCC has built this exciting modern office block to meet the demands of the future. The new Magasin X development is a trailblazer for sustainable building and we have just handed over the keys to the client.

Magasin X is an exciting and modern building in so many respects, founded on strong technical know-how and good architecture. The journey began almost three years ago, when Vasakronan commissioned NCC to build this spectacular edifice. As well as being a unique feature of Uppsala, Magasin X is also the largest office block in Sweden with a structural frame made entirely from wood.

“It’s striking how incredible this building is, with so many wooden details. Everyone involved in the project has really appreciated being part of the build and now we all feel huge pride in the finished product. We’ll also be putting all our newfound knowledge into future projects. We’ve learned so much about wood construction here, which has been extremely exciting,” says Anders Hansson, Site Manager for Magasin X at NCC.

Sustainable construction and finished building

Building primarily in wood has numerous benefits. Above all, it has a much smaller carbon footprint than constructing buildings using traditional materials such as concrete and steel, which is something the industry is keen to achieve across the board.

“With Magasin X, we’ve not only built the frame in wood, but also the elevator shafts and stairwells. Every new project in wood helps to reduce the climate impact of construction and create better living environments, while reducing the pressure on the planet’s finite resources,” explains Jonas Wahlström, who was head of project delivery for Vasakronan in Uppsala and our client for the project.

Sustainability was the focus when constructing Magasin X, but it also has a distinct sustainability profile in its finished form. The building holds environmental certification to the LEED scheme’s highest standard, Platinum, due to its efficient solutions in areas including energy supply. The energy supply systems make use of innovative and ingenious solutions: Geothermal energy regulates the temperature, improves air quality and provides a steadier level of humidity indoors. Photovoltaics on the roof and south-facing facade charge the building’s battery system, which distributes and supplies electricity in the event of a power outage.

“There are many advantages to this building, with its emphasis on sustainability and carbon reduction. Beyond the timber frame, many other materials and technical choices have helped towards the high sustainability profile, including photovoltaics on the roof and facades, a geothermal system for heating and cooling via 30 boreholes, green roofs, a slate-clad facade with a low carbon footprint, and strict requirements for fossil-free deliveries by electric vehicle,” adds Anders.

“We beat off stiff competition to land this unique assignment, but we were the best company to deliver on the tough timetable, bearing in mind the broad level of expertise that NCC possesses when it comes to this kind of complex project. We were chosen for our experience and knowledge of untested and non-standardized solutions,” says Roger Carlsson, Project Manager for Magasin X at NCC.

On the exterior, Magasin X has been clad in glass, slates and photovoltaics. Green roofs are combined with advanced stormwater beds with planting at ground level. The Norwegian slates have a low carbon footprint and provide attractive color variations in different lights and weathers. It was a conscious choice to have relatively little wood on the facade, since slates require less maintenance over time and have a longer service life in an outdoor environment.