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Marcus Sandberg
Marcus Sandberg

Marcus Sandberg

Associate Professor
Luleå University of Technology
Industrialized and sustainable construction
Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
+46 (0)920 493072
T2011 Luleå



My research profile is a blend of technology, informatics, engineering and management in the field of construction. To be able to do research about methods and processes for computer support development one need to understand how computer technology works, how the building structure works (engineering), how to handle information (informatics) and the needs and challenges of the organizations (management).
    Since I was a PhD student, my research has been about how development processes, such as design and product development, can be enhanced by means of computer support by automating repetitive tasks or enabling evaluation of manufacturability, costs and structural integrity. When I started working with the Construction engineering and management group in 2013, my research profile was widened to also include sustainability in the projects: (Attract), energy efficiency, temperature measurements (Green Power), Geographical information systems and urban planning (Food on the roof), farming (Green Power, Kiruna Sustainability Center - KSC) and off-site construction (Digitalized construction). Even though these areas can seem unconnected, the common dominator is development of methods or processes based on virtual models to create decision bases for designers or planners in the building process. I use the term Virtual construction since it is about use of digital models, e.g. building information models, simulation models for energy and structural integrity or cost models for optimal building design, with the aim to mitigate costly surprises during construction. It is cheaper to do the mistakes in the virtual model instead of at the site or in the factory.
    My research is applied meaning that academic methods, e.g. frameworks and processes, are developed in iteration with real case prototype development. This is a basis for understanding the needs of the society and spreading research results. I like research problems that connects technology with societal needs, that there are people with different needs that our methods need to consider creating chances for change and enhancements.
    My industry collaborators since being a PhD student have been Volvo Aero Corporation (today GKN Aerospace) and, since I started at the Division for Industrial and Sustainable Construction WSP, PEAB, Tyréns, DesignEvolution, Sweco Architects, RISE, The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Martinsons, Technical Services in Kiruna AB, Boden Municipality, Luleå Municipality, Hydro 66, HSB among others. With them, I have worked in several projects within virtual construction for multi-residential building, datacenters and greenhouses. One part of virtual construction has been about master models that govern a number of virtual models. One change in the master model automatically propagates to the other models, which is a requirement to enable optimization. In the Smart Built Environment project Digitalized construction, we work with finding a balance between prefabrication (standardization) and product flexibility, and we investigate how to model and coordinate process and product platforms using master models as one of the enablers.
    In the Green Power project we have investigated how greenhouses can be designed to be able to use the waste heat from datacenters, a multidisciplinary project with four different research subjects and about 10 different companies which I think is important to have a chance to find new and innovative ideas but also to develop as a project leader.
    In the KSC project we developed methods to help Kiruna Municipality and companies to choose building material with low life cycle energy and cost. This using virtual models and optimization.
    Two projects now focus on optimizing sustainability in terms of life cycle energy, cost and carbon footprint for new and renovated buildings. These projects are: Life-cycle energy optimization of new and retrofitting buildings (Formas) and Computer-driven optimizations for improving sustainability performances of buildings (The Swedish Energy Agency).
​     "Customer focused service development based on automation" (Smart built engineering, Forsmas) is a project where I supervise Abbas Tafti, an industrial PhD student working at WSP. From the same funder I since 2021 also work with the projetc "Digital work flow for sustainability-optimized and correctly climate-declared residential building".
    Together with PEAB we have a project for systematization of design and production since 2021.

Current projects

  • Does strict sustainability requirements impede innovations?
  • Arctic greenhouse - Norrlandsnavet
  • The Skills innovation hub
  • Systematization of design and production - Contract research for PEAB
  • Digital workflow for sustainability-optimized and correctly climate-declared residential buildings
  • Customer focused service development based on automation - Smart built environment (Formas)
  • Life-cycle energy optimization of new and retrofitting buildings - Formas

Undergraduate teaching

  • P0011B - Computer tools in engineering
  • P7006B - Virtual construction
  • W0007B - CAD & VR
  • W7010B - Construction management II


  • Member of the LTU quality advisory board as representatitve for the Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural resources Engineering (CENE).
  • Coordinator for contract education at CENE


Article in journal

Data-Center Farming: Exploring the Potential of Industrial Symbiosis in a Subarctic Region (2022)

Ramos Caceres. C, Törnroth. S, Vesterlund. M, Johansson. A, Sandberg. M
Sustainability, Vol. 14, nr. 5
Conference paper

Towards understanding disruption in the market for professional services in construction (2022)

Tafti. A, Engström. D, Sandberg. M
Part of: SBEfin2022 Emerging Concepts for Sustainable Built Environment (SBEfin2022), Institute of Physics (IOP), 2022, 012053
Article in journal

Exploring product modularity in residential building areas (2021)

Eriksson. H, Sandberg. M, Jansson. G, Lessing. J
Buildings, Vol. 11, nr. 7
Conference paper

Analysis of Urban Scale Factors for Data Center Waste-heat Use (2020)

Three Case Studies in Sweden
Ramos Cáceres. C, Sandberg. M, Sotoca. A
Part of: PLEA 2020 - Planning Post Carbon Cities, Proceedings of the 35th International Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture: A Coruña, 1st - 3rd September 2020, s. 1638-1643, University of A Coruña, 2020
Article in journal

Sustainability evaluation of timber dwellings in the north of Sweden based on environmental impact and optimization of energy and cost (2020)

Mukkavaara. J, Sandberg. M, Sandberg. K, Pousette. A, Norén. J
Procedia Manufacturing, Vol. 44, s. 76-83
Conference paper

Assessing Digital Information Management Between Design and Production in Industrialised House-Building – A Case Study (2019)

Eriksson. H, Sandberg. M, Mukkavaara. J, Jansson. G, Stehn. L
Part of: Proceedings of the 36th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction (ISARC 2019), s. 340-347, The International Association for Automation and Robotics in Construction (I.A.A.R.C.), 2019
Conference paper

Data center and the city (2019)

A potential for urban synergies.
Ramos Cáceres. C, Sandberg. M, Sotoca. A
Part of: AESOP 2019 Conference, Book of Papers, s. 2072-2080, Università Iuav di Venezia, 2019
Article in journal

Multidisciplinary Optimization of Life-Cycle Energy and Cost Using a BIM-Based Master Model (2019)

Sandberg. M, Mukkavaara. J, Shadram. F, Olofsson. T
Sustainability, Vol. 11, nr. 1
Conference paper

A master model approach for design and analysis of roof trusses (2018)

Kubicki. S, Mukkavaara. J, Sandberg. M
Part of: Proceedings of the 35th ISARC, Berlin, Germany, s. 325-331, 2018