Celsius office building project marks a digital milestone in Sweden


MagiCAD Group

MEP Design

The completion of the beautiful and innovative office building Celsius in Uppsala, Sweden, in 2020 was also a digital milestone in the local construction industry. We met with Jan Back from AFRY AB to hear more about the first completely paperless project in Sweden.

Improved efficiency with a digital workflow

The Celsius project was started in 2017 on behalf of the Swedish Food Agency. It was to be an addition to the Uppsala Science Park with offices and laboratories managed by Vasakronan. Jan Back from AFRY was involved in the Celsius project in electrical design and in the structuring of project information with BIP codes (Building Information Properties).

Jan Back, AFRY
Jan Back, AFRY

“Celsius was the first completed project in Sweden that was done completely without paper drawings,” Jan says. “3D models were used via phones and tablets on the construction site and, with the help of construction management software, the models were automatically updated every night so that they were up-to-date.”

The new way of working required some coordination and dialogue in the beginning to get all project participants on the same page, but once everything was up and running everyone involved was very pleased with the approach and wanted to continue working in this way, says Jan. The biggest advantages compared to previous ways of working were faster problem-solving and improved efficiency for coordination, quantification, and calculation as everyone always had the same information at hand.

Structure and coordination with MagiCAD

The time saved from doing repeated paper drawings could be spent on creating a better model that could be easily shared with everyone involved.

Celsius under construction. Photo by Vasakronan

“All information was live for the designers and updated daily for the contractors,” says Jan. “You could trust the information contained in the IFC files. It was the same information as in Revit.”

“The designers didn’t have to do IFC exports and plot thousands of drawings because each plan view covered an entire floor. For electricity, for example, we had nine different types of systems and up to eight floors on 63 drawings, although not all systems were on all floors. In a “normal” project, this would have been 1008 drawings just for electricity.”

Jan goes on to talk about the role MagiCAD software played in the project:

“MagiCAD makes it much easier to work in a structured and efficient manner. You have a better overview of products and their properties when all the information is available directly in the model.”

He has many years of experience with MagiCAD software and has also used training, support and consulting services offered by MagiCAD Group.

“The best thing about MagiCAD is that it is constantly developing, that the company listens to the users and constantly improves the product to better solve our problems.”

Leading the way in the construction industry

The Celsius project has received a lot of attention for its new and efficient approach. Celsius received a gold medal in the buildingSMART International Awards 2020 and was named “LEED Building of the Year” by the Sweden Green Building Awards 2022.Sweden Green Building Awards 2022

“It feels very nice to have been involved in driving such a project forward,” says Jan, and believes that the awards are a positive thing not only for those who get to share in the honour, but also for the entire construction industry. “Many people are interested in this project and are adopting aspects of it in their own projects.”

When asked if this digital way of working is the future, Jan answers yes, without a doubt, and mentions several projects that have adopted the approach after Celsius.

The project was completed earlier than planned and under budget,” concludes Jan, “It is clearly much better to work this way.

About the project
Company: AFRY AB
Project: Celsius
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Client: Vasakronan
Duration: 2017–2020
MagiCAD modules (AFRY): MagiCAD Electrical for Revit
MagiCAD modules (other consultants): MagiCAD Piping for Revit, MagiCAD Ventilation for Revit, MagiCAD Sprinkler Designer for Revit