Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Läroverket 🇸🇪

Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Läroverket (SSHL), an international boarding school with heritage buildings overlooking Lake Mälaren (the campus includes student and staff housing),  has a vision of developing new ways for participative sustainable renovation of the buildings, at the interface of two smaller towns that are still in urban extension.

ADOPTING THE NEB|LAB CONCEPT: Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Läroverket (SSHL) aims to showcase how collaborative efforts of school clubs can raise awareness about sustainable energy renovation for students and the local community alike. SSHL seeks to demonstrate that when schools are partnering with their local communities they can become agents of community well-being through their involvement in co-creative research and innovation for resource efficiency.

To make it simple, SSHL is looking at the connections between the school, families, and the community through an ecological perspective. SSHL believes that these connections are essential for gathering resources, building strong social bonds, and increasing the community’s capacity to get things done. SSHL students are actively working on spreading awareness about energy-efficient buildings and sustainable renovation, promoting education and training for a greener future. 

In this effort, SSHL is partnering with various groups and organizations, including their own building and infrastructure teams, educational departments, the Design and Technology Group (DTG), and others. Together, they’re working on creating a more sustainable and energy-efficient environment.

PARTNERS: Building and infrastructure, Educational Departments, Design and Technology Group (DTG), SSHL Environmental Group (Miljöföreningen), Life Link, Signify (Smart lighting system and indoor environment controllers), SVEA Solar: Infrastructure (Solar panels), Energy consulting engineers, DELOITTE and NTUA: City Synergy Strategy and Green Neighborhood Development Planning, Sigtuna Municipality.

Sector: Secondary Education

District buildings portfolio: School buildings

Target groups:  Students ,building owner and users, municipality, surrounding school community

Link: Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Läroverket

Main characteristics & Motivation

Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Läroverket is an international boarding school in the municipality of Sigtuna, Sweden’s oldest town, which is part of Stockholm’s wider administrative district. It arose from the merger of two historic Swedish boarding schools in Sigtuna in 1980. These schools were Sigtunastiftelsens Humanistiska Läroverk, founded in 1925 by Bishop Manfred Björkquist, and Sigtunaskolan, founded in 1927 by theologian Harry Cullberg. Since then, the school has become the leading boarding school in Sweden, combining high academic standards with a wide range of recreational activities.

The school is administered by the Wallenberg Foundation ( and the SigtunaStiftelsen Foundation ( Currently, the school provides knowledge to about 200 boarders and 330 day-students following two curricula: Swedish and International Baccalaureate (IB) from Year 9 – 12, with 90 teaching staff and 70 administrative and support staff. 

Within the school campus are 22 building complexes with a total area of 22,670 sqm, of which four (4) are school buildings and offices, eight (8) are student boarding houses, and the rest of the buildings are gyms, dining areas, and support areas, as well as staff accommodation buildings. The campus is located by Lake Mälaren. The total area of the campus is about 178 arces (178,000 sqm).

The current energy consumption yearly is estimated at 3,359 MWh (equivalent to 2,374 MTCO2). The goal is to reduce this in the future (2030) by at least 50%.

Our vision for making the school more energy-efficient with several separate interventions proposed, is focused on:

  1. Achieving high energy performance and energy savings
  2. Use of innovative and sustainable energy solutions for improved indoor environmental quality for the users
  3. Optimal dynamic matching between on-site renewable energy generation and building/ neighborhood consumption
  4. Creation of innovation clusters that will apply new technologies and methodologies which can be used as references  in future similar projects

The focus of the pilot, which will permeate all the individual interventions, will be the development of solutions for energy efficiency in school buildings,  through increased consumer engagement in energy-saving practices and gamification.

To achieve the above, a series of point interventions are proposed for the school’s future energy efficiency strategy :

  • Replacement of the traditional lighting system with an innovative smart lighting system
  • Change of heating via HVAC system upgrade and smart thermostats. With the help of geothermal energy, SSHL expects to reduce energy consumption by approximately 30 to 40 % and zero carbon dioxide production
  • Installation of a 500-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system and battery-based smart energy storage system to become net-energy producers
  • Installation of High-performance windows for a total reduction of heat loss by at least
    20 %
  • Integration of innovative insulation materials, smart facades, indoor and outdoor smart meters, sensors, and actuators in specific areas of the main building


SSHL School has a strong commitment to instilling important values in our students, focusing among others on the environment, healthy living, and modern technology. SSHL has actively participated in various research projects, both funded by the European Union and private sources. 

The school has many formally established clubs with a focus on environment and sustainability that act as change agents through the student population. Participation in these clubs will be an integral part of the success of this project. In addition, the boarding home students will play an important role in developing an environmentally conscious behavior change among residents in the campus living spaces. The whole school has organized extracurricular activities that give students opportunities to participate in the project ‘hands-on’. Educational Departments will be incorporating the project into their curriculum.  Having established close links with schools from other countries, it has also created synergies with the Municipality of Sigtuna. These synergies can be further enhanced with regard to the energy grid and circular economy plans. Given that the community of SSHL consists primarily of the future citizens of tomorrow, this pilot will have a major indirect impact on society but also a direct impact on the district by proposing ideas and solutions for clean energy to municipal users. 

Finally, the replicability of the pilot is significant as there are thousands of school units in Sweden, where energy performance/consumption monitoring is limited. Many of the Swedish school buildings are similarly older historical buildings.

Pilot concept description

To create an environmentally friendly bioclimatic campus while respecting the history of the buildings and the historical character of the wider local area, there are a series of possible interventions for the coming years in order to gradually reach the desired outcomes. 

To start, SSHL aims to focus on the energy effectiveness upgrade of buildings; which can be broken down into two main actions a) energy saving and b) “clean” energy production for the needs of the school.

Action A. Energy saving

1) Replacement of the lamps and lighting system. This involves 1) changing the lamps and light bulbs and 2) effectively managing the lighting operation time in buildings through a smart lighting system. SSHL aims to apply Philips Interact, a flexible, wireless lighting system that allows the user to create customized light zones, achieving high savings through LED technology and different dimming options to increase user comfort through better quality of light and the option to personalize light settings. Philips Interact saves energy and cuts costs through the use of embedded sensors, which can reduce energy usage by up to 70 %. For the whole campus, the reduction of the electric energy consumed for lighting purposes can be at least 810,5 MWh annually or 65 %. The corresponding CO2 reduction (carbon savings) is 9726 kg.

2) Change of the heating system via HVAC system upgrade, and smart heating management system: The warm season in Sweden lasts for three (3) months with temperatures ranging from 12 to 22 degrees Celsius. The cold season lasts four (4) months with temperatures ranging from -6 to -1 degree Celsius. 

The heating of all the building installations today is done through two central heating stations operated through electricity oil and pellets, in addition to a small geothermal installation (only 14 %). Given the distance from the central heating stations to the campus buildings, heat losses during transportation are very large, which makes the system energy-intensive, costly, and inefficient. SSHL is considering taking the following actions:

3) Change the heating system to geothermal at a rate of > 80 %. SSHL is presently investigating the feasibility of this change. The use of geothermal energy in combination with heat pumps (air/water) gives the advantage of being able to manage the air conditioning of the buildings in both the cold months (heating) and the warm months (cooling).

Install a smart heating management system (smart thermostats) that will regulate the room temperature according to certain parameters (for example if there are no people in the room, or if the classroom is not used during the weekends, etc.).

The annual energy consumption for the heating of the buildings is 2109 MWh and is distributed as follows: 1220 MWh Electric, 400 MWh Oil (petrol), 190 MWh pellets, 299 MWh Geothermal.   According to SSHL’s investigation, a partial replacement of the heating system (using geothermal units and thermal pumps) could save 615 MWh annually, or 29 %. The corresponding CO2 reduction (carbon savings) is 7380 kg.

Action B: “Clean” energy production to cover energy consumption needs 

The objective of this future project is to install a 500-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system and implement a smart energy storage system in our school. This installation will provide a reliable and sustainable source of electricity for the school. By harnessing sunlight, the system will generate clean and renewable energy, reducing the reliance on fossil fuels and lowering carbon emissions. 

By combining renewable energy production with advanced energy storage technology, this action aims to achieve significant environmental, economic, and educational benefits. 

In addition, SSHL is thinking to enhance its energy efficiency and sustainability by integrating a smart battery storage system together with the PV installation. This forward-looking initiative aims to maximize the utilization of solar-generated energy by storing excess power in batteries when the sun is shining or when the KWh price is low. The stored energy can then be used during periods of high electricity demand or when electricity prices are elevated, allowing SSHL to reduce energy costs, decrease its reliance on the grid, lower carbon emissions, and promote a more sustainable energy model. The school’s intention to implement this smart battery system in the future aligns with its commitment to energy efficiency and environmental responsibility, ultimately benefiting the school and the local community.

In general, the introduction of a more sustainable energy source is a key step in our commitment to a greener and more efficient future for SSHL.

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