A parking garage becomes an energy hub!

29 September 2021 - Published by Sophie Rabasch

What do you think about when you hear the words “sustainable city”? Chances are that a parking garage is not the first thing that comes to mind. The parking garage in the Access pilot in Malmö will hopefully change that, using it as an energy hub in a sustainable neighbourhood, and as a model for future parking garages in the city. The construction of the building is underway, so let’s take a look at the pilot and what we hope to achieve.

Like many other Swedish cities, Malmö is facing three major challenges: a lack of electric efficiency due to increased electrification in society and an outdated grid system; a growing population, demanding both housing and jobs, which also increases our electricity demand; and the rapidly increasing effects of climate change, and thus a need for a low-carbon and sustainable energy system. One of the many ways to address such challenges is the development of areas like the new neighbourhood Sege Park, and the parking garage that is being used in our Access pilot.




The planned investments in the parking garage are 2,000 m2 PVs on the roof, a stationary battery, DC cables from production to storage, a building management system and automation software. This will be used to conduct three different use cases. In the first use case, we will minimise power outtake in the building at all times. In the second, we will consider the grid status when the energy from PVs is zero and use the battery or grid depending on grid status. In the third and most ambitious use case, we will try to minimise the CO2 footprint of the grid. By using the building as a part of the system, we will charge the battery with electricity from the grid when the CO2 footprint from grid electricity is low and use that when the PVs production is zero. The pilot will also try and answer the following questions:  

  • Is it possible to reach 25% CO2 reduction by storage, steering and optimisation?
  • What solutions are feasible to scale up to other garages in Malmö?

The Access pilot fits in well with its surrounding area. Sege Park, the neighbourhood where the parking garage is being built, is a place with a long cultural and sustainable history. Most of the existing buildings in the area, including the park surrounding them, are from the 1930s when the mental hospital Östra sjukhuset was built. The architecture reflected new ideals of the time, instead of solely being a place where patients were situated, it was built to be an open and parklike area, where outside activities, such as gardening, were part of the treatment for many of the patients. The hospital was self-sufficient in vegetables from its cultivation, and the area also had its own network for district heating and electricity. Some of that history lives on, as Sege Park is now being developed into a new city district, with a focus on circularity and sustainability. One of the new buildings will be the parking garage where our Access pilot will be conducted.




The design of the parking garage already had high sustainability ambitions. Recycled materials are being used for construction, wood will be used as a major building material and as it gives flexibility in the construction, and the house will be covered with 1,500 sqm of green facades that are irrigated with the help of a stormwater reservoir under the house. Thus, resulting in the perfect site to conduct our Access pilot, to turn this already green parking garage into a model energy hub for the future.

The parking garage is planned to open in spring 2022, and then we will start conducting our use cases.


Keep up to date with further developments of the Malmö pilot, follow ACCESS on social media below