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View over Kämnärsvägen, with Hippocampus in focus

New city district generates knowledge about sustainable student housing

At Kämnärsrätten, AF Bostäder is driving one of Sweden’s largest investments in student housing. The plans cover six new quarters, and the company is on a purposeful development journey in which each new construction project becomes more innovative and sustainable than the last. The last quarter is the best by far – and the next will be even better.

At Kämnärsrätten, AF Bostäder is driving one of Sweden’s largest investments in student housing. The plans cover six new quarters, and the company is on a purposeful development journey in which each new construction project becomes more innovative and sustainable than the last. The last quarter is the best by far – and the next will be even better.

AF Bostäder began construction at Kämnärsrätten in 2017. The area, which previously consisted of “four-leaf clover” buildings from the 1960s, is being transformed step-by-step into a well-planned city district, with a focus on sustainable urban design and thriving student life. The new quarters are entwined along a connecting thoroughfare for pedestrians and cyclists with green spaces for activities and places for socialising.

“The entire investment is characterised by a community building perspective, in which we promote all aspects of sustainable development: social, environmental and economic,” says Magnus, former Property Development Manager at AF Bostäder. “Three of the quarters have been completed, two have been started, and when the sixth and final one is completed in a few years we will have doubled the student housing available along Kämnärsvägen, halved the energy consumption, reduced climate impact connected with production and transport, and created a long-term sustainable city district in which students and Lund residents can have a good future.”

The housing areas have their own identities, with their own aims and solutions. At the same time, they each offer an opportunity to try out ideas and gain experience that can be applied in improvements for the next project. In each quarter that is built there is development and fine-tuning of everything from housing environment, energy solutions and climate impact to property management, waste sorting, biodiversity – and construction methods. In recent years, AF Bostäder has, among other things, tried building according to certifications such as Miljöbyggnad and Svanen. The company has also set up its own standards and developed solutions using different types of material and building techniques.

“Climate impact, the living experience, health, diversity and total economy can be adjusted and improved the whole time,” says Magnus. “That’s why we are not involved in batch production or with developing a homogenous ideal model that we repeat for several years. Instead, we take what we have learned and start every project from scratch. Development is so rapid that we have considerable possibilities to make advances from one building project to the next. So it is our responsibility to do that.”

A significant step is that since 2020, AF Bostäder has conducted climate impact calculations for all new building projects, something that is required by law from 2022, in order to map and reduce the climate impact of new construction. So far, the company has conducted climate impact calculations at the now completed Hippocampus and the ongoing project at Pireus. The calculations have mainly focused on the main shell and facades, as these cause the largest emissions in new construction, among other things during manufacturing and transport. The results have been extremely useful in the design of Rhodos, which will be the next construction project.

“Rhodos will be everything we have dared to dream about in recent years – tasteful and pleasant architecture, good solutions for cyclists, a verdant outdoor environment that promotes biodiversity, an orangery heated with residual heat, and energy consumption as low as half of the requirements for new construction. The climate impact calculations have also led to a well-considered design in which emissions linked to construction stay under 200 kilos of carbon dioxide equivalents per square metre – a 25% reduction compared with the average for Hippocampus and Pireus. Rhodos represents the sum of our experiences and in sustainability, terms will be the best we have ever done. At least until we break ground on the next project,” concludes Magnus.

Latest update June 3, 2022

Several hand are fistbumping
Long-term and responsible actor

New sustainability network

Those responsible for sustainability management are constantly facing new challenges. A network initiated by AF Bostäder will give student housing companies the opportunity to share knowledge and inspiration with each other.

A male student with a folded moving box
Long-term and responsible actor

Secure sub-letting

AF Bostäder rents out affordable housing in attractive locations to students at Lund University. The queue and rental terms, which include admission and study rate requirements, are to ensure that renting is fair and conducted via a housing queue. Sub-letting is permitted to a limited extent in order to facilitate, for example, studies abroad and military conscription.

Three people stand around some papers
Long-term and responsible actor

New coordinated risk analysis

AF Bostäder has for some time conducted risk analyses concerning everything from financing and work environment to extreme rainfall events. Now, the work on risk is being expanded and coordinated, for a better overview and reporting purposes.

Hands over a computer keyboard
Long-term and responsible actor

Strong engagement in our own business system

Many companies buy a ready-to-use business system and adapt their processes to the system. AF Bostäder has instead chosen to design its own system from scratch. Thanks to strong engagement internally in the development work, the system is powerful, easy to use and liked by both customers and staff.

Two people in sunchairs. On top of the picture there is written
Long-term and responsible actor

Lund students’ own student housing company celebrated its 40th anniversary

AF Bostäder dates back all the way to 1830. It was then that Akademiska Föreningen was formed to keep the students in order. Inspired by the English college system, AF offered food and accommodation to some 50 students. Sylwanska Gården became the first form of housing with student influence.

Long-term and responsible actor

An even rent trend is a high priority

AF Bostäder aims to give students a rent trend that is as even as possible so that they can forecast their costs and keep track of their everyday finances. At the same time, stable revenues give AF Bostäder the preconditions for planning its operations with a long-term perspective.

An illustration of Troja
Long-term and responsible actor

New vistas await when Kämnärsrätten is completed

With the building of Troja – AF Bostäder’s biggest construction start since the 1960s and the last quarter in the expansion along Kämnärsvägen – one of Sweden's most significant investments in sustainable student housing will reach the finishing line. In parallel, planning is underway for continued expansion, in careful balance with the housing needs of Lund students.

A young woman stands behind the desk at Service centre, smiling at the camera. In front of her a student.
Long-term and responsible actor

The student worker role at AF Bostäder – a good start in working life

At the Service Centre, customers often receive assistance from staff who are active students. Student workers make up a unique resource in the company, and the job is often a springboard for their own careers. Meet Amanda Forslund who has gone on to become a property appraiser, and Alexander Gahnström who has continued to work within AF Bostäder.

An illustration of what Rhodos will look like
Long-term and responsible actor

Rhodos – an extremely climate-friendly student housing area

AF Bostäder is implementing one of Sweden’s biggest investments in long-term sustainable student housing at Kämnärsrätten. Three of the quarters are now complete, one is close to being inaugurated and in 2022 construction began on Rhodos – a wonder in terms of sustainability and low climate impact.

Two people shaking hands, only the arms are visible
Long-term and responsible actor

Whistleblower system in place

At the end of 2022, AF Bostäder launched a whistleblower system in which staff can anonymously report serious misconduct. No whistleblower cases have been reported.

Four-leaf clover buildings
Long-term and responsible actor

The end of an era heralds new, sustainable times

When Kämnärsrätten was built in the 1960s, Hans Westman’s innovative “four-leaf clover” buildings had an important role, and in total provided accommodation for 1 000 students. Many students have good memories from these special small buildings, which, apart from in the quarter at Gylleholm, are now a thing of the past. AF Bostäder has been demolishing four-leaf clover buildings since 2016 and has started one of Sweden’s biggest investments in long-term sustainable student housing.

Bird view over Delphi
Long-term and responsible actor

At Delphi, 425 of 850 bathrooms are renovated and ready

In an extensive renovation project, AF Bostäder is replacing all the plumbing systems for 850 corridor rooms at Delphi. Bathrooms, accommodation, ventilation, broadband and corridor fixtures will also get a revamp. The work is following an ingenious system in which all tenants avoid disruption by moving to a newly renovated corridor – with no change in the rent.

A student unpacks a box in her student room
Long-term and responsible actor

More accommodation places for new students

Newly admitted Lund University students whose home is outside Skåne need housing directly in order to begin their studies. The number of accommodation places earmarked for long-distance students increased in 2022.

Four students in a corridor kitchen. Two sit at a table talking, one is cooking by the stove and one is sitting in a sofa reading.
Long-term and responsible actor

Well-considered rent increases secure future housing

AF Bostäder’s rent-setting stems from a rent model based on the students’ wishes, and the annual rent increase is negotiated with the Swedish Union of Tenants (Hyresgästföreningen). As AF Bostäder is a foundation, the revenue remains entirely within the organisation, where it is used for maintenance and long-term investments.

Two people on a constructionsite. They are weating yellow jackets, white helmets and one of them is looking down at a blueprint while the other is looking into the camera
Long-term and responsible actor

Code of conduct introduced

In 2020, AF Bostäder produced a code of conduct that is to ensure that AF Bostäder and the company’s partners have the same sustainability aims. The introduction continued in 2021 with a focus on close dialogue.

Long-term and responsible actor

New whistleblower function

AF Bostäder has a zero-tolerance policy towards all forms of corruption. The company has both internal guidelines for business ethics and a code of conduct for staff and partners. A whistleblower function will also be established soon.

Three students in a corridor kithen at Vildanden
Long-term and responsible actor

High demand, but there is housing for everyone

There is a high demand for housing adapted for students in Lund, but there are many alternatives and most people who are admitted for studies have some form of housing at the start of the semester. AF Bostäder is working in the long term to increase accommodation, and new student housing quarters are taking shape.