Collaboration the key to the world’s first building with fossil-free steel

Groundbreaking collaboration between SSAB and Peab can revolutionize the construction industry’s climate footprint. The world’s first building with SSAB’s fossil-free steel is proof of this.

Peab is the first construction company in the world to use SSAB Fossil-free™ steel in a construction project. The building, which has been ordered by real estate company Wihlborgs, is an industrial facility of just over 6,000 square meters in Hasslanda, in Lund, Sweden. SSAB’s fossil-free steel has been used in the production of sandwich panels for parts of the building’s wall structure. Ruukki Construction in Finland is responsible for production.

“We’re reaping the benefits of close collaboration with a long-term partner. Peab shares our core values and vision of reducing climate impact, and we’re helping them reform the entire construction industry. If you’re serious about creating the most climate-smart building and achieving totally fossil-free value chains, old habits must be challenged and designs adapted so that more use can be made of fossil-free steel,” says Matts Nilsson, Head of Sales Sweden & Norway at SSAB.

“Our goal is for the entire business to be climate-neutral by 2045. Without collaboration with SSAB, the journey towards climate neutrality would have been so much more difficult.”

Jamil Dagher, Category Manager, Purchasing at Peab

Broad, close collaboration made it possible

SSAB and Peab have been collaborating for several years in areas such as more high-strength steel, recycled steel and slag handling, and together they have succeeded in changing building standards for road bridges, enabling greener, more maintenance-free steel in the design. In 2021, SSAB and Peab entered into a partnership on the use of SSAB’s fossil-free steel in construction projects from 2026. The companies have also initiated a research project to quantify the climate benefits that SSAB’s fossil-free steel can contribute to the entire Swedish construction and civil engineering industry.

“Our goal is for the entire business to be climate-neutral by 2045. Without collaboration with SSAB, the journey towards climate neutrality would have been so much more difficult. The way that two major companies are working together in this way is a good strategy for reaching shared goals and ambitions, and for learning from each other. We must do everything we can to change the construction and civil engineering industry,” says Jamil Dagher, Category Manager, Purchasing at Peab.

The world’s first building with fossil-free steel, in Lund, Sweden. Photo: Stefan Olsson

Important milestone for the entire construction industry

Together, the construction and real estate sectors account for about one fifth of Sweden’s domestic carbon dioxide emissions, and for Peab, steel accounts for about 10% of measured climate emissions. This makes the world’s first building with SSAB’s fossil-free steel a unique milestone for the industry and an important element in Sweden’s entire climate transition. The use of this unique steel for the construction project in Lund represents a climate saving of around 14.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Calculations show that if all the steel in the frame structure, sandwich panels and profiled roof panels at the industrial facility in Lund were to be replaced with fossil-free steel, this would result in a reduction of around 30% in the climate impact from the materials. This shows the importance of introducing more sustainable material choices and how it can have a positive impact on the climate impact of construction projects, believes Anna Högberg, climate specialist at Peab Bygg.

“In newbuild, the manufacturing of materials and products accounts for the vast majority of climate impact. So it’s extremely important to focus on identifying new materials and products with a low climate impact,” says Anna Högberg.

Climate Minister Romina Pourmokhtari
Romina Pourmokhtari, Minister for Climate and the Environment of Sweden. Photo: Magnus Grubb

Did you know?

  • 40% of the total facade area (about 1,420 sq.m.) in this construction project consists of SSAB’s fossil-free steel. 
  • A 30% lower climate impact for materials is the potential, if all the steel in the building’s frame structure, facade panel and profiled roof panels were replaced with SSAB’s fossil-free steel.
  • Steel accounts for 10% of Peab’s measured climate emissions.
  • According to analyses conducted by SSAB and Peab together on two office buildings and a warehouse, using fossil-free steel in the frame structure can result in a 70-80% reduction in climate impact.
  • Sweden’s total carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 10% when SSAB eliminates its carbon dioxide emissions and introduces HYBRIT® technology.