Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
The vast majority of the public swimming facilities in Sweden and Norway are getting old. 80 percent of Swedish swimming facilities are more than 35 years old. In 2004, more than 75 percent of Norwegian swimming facilities were more than 25 years old, which means that today they share close to the same mean age as Sweden’s facilities. Sweden needs to renovate or replace the majority of their facilities within a decade, which will be the reality for Norway soon as well. It is estimated that the public sector in Sweden needs to invest 40 billion SEK in new constructions. More than half of all facilities in Sweden has been reported for damages where one of the most common damages are linked to the swimming pools. Traditionally, concrete and tiles has been used as a standard material for swimming pools in both countries.
In some other countries in Europe, stainless steel solutions for the swimming pools are more practiced and previous studies indicates several advantages with these solutions. They has however not been established in Sweden and Norway at a large-scale and the difficulties to why needs to be investigated. Anyhow, there might be something interesting happening with the industry today. A few municipalities in Norway has specifically asked for these new solutions in their procurement. The purpose of this thesis is to mainly perform a comparative study between the traditional solution and different types of stainless steel solutions. The difficulties to introduce innovations to markets will be assessed with this case. The impact stainless steel solutions will have on the market if successful introduction occurs will also be evaluated to determine key competitive areas in the future.
Multiple research methods has been used in this thesis with the aim to understand all dynamics about the phenomenon investigated. Previous studies and interviews with persons of interest are summarized in the literature review, a market analysis was performed with five suppliers and three municipalities as case studies. In the analysis, the life-cycle costing and the carbon footprint were compared between the different swimming pool solutions. The findings from the market analysis is then compared thematically to the most significant findings from the literature review.
The results shows that swimming facilities are truly complex projects. They require high competence and an adequate political leadership. There are much dynamics behind the decision of a swimming pool. The life-cycle costs of stainless steel solutions are not significantly different from the traditional solution concerning new constructions. Stainless steel indicates 40 percent less embodied CO2 emissions. This area was not identified as an important factor for municipalities today but hopefully it will be. Regarding renovations, stainless steel solutions shows clear advantages. It is evaluated that stainless steel has good potential to spread in the market concerning new construction and great potential concerning renovations. In relation to the traditional solution stainless steel has advantages especially in two areas: simplicity and time-consumption. There exists asymmetries in motivation and skills between new entrants (stainless steel) and incumbents (traditional suppliers) which are evaluated to be future competitive areas. Based on this, it is evaluated that these solutions has disruptive potential for the market. New entrants needs to strategically address some barriers to successfully spread. Incumbents should take strategic choices today to align their asymmetries.
In conclusion, this research shows that stainless steel solutions indicates great potential for the whole industry. This might force incumbents to increase their motivation and also improve their product in time. This will provoke a more competitive scene which in the end benefits the customer. This thesis which concerns a complicated area can aid municipalities to understand which factors that are important to consider. It can also help suppliers to see what factors that their customers find as important and based on this, take strategic decisions today. The findings also indicates that performance is not always the main criteria when building swimming facilities. Politicians can make differences here, because the overall swimming skills are declining and combined with the damages, this should be strong signals that the industry is not functioning optimally. Further research should be conducted about how nonmarket barriers can be approached by politicians to enable a more innovative climate in the industry. Another area I suggest for future research is to investigate the environmental impact further. The results in the latest COP21 meeting should make this area a more prioritized factor in future public procurements. To study the complete value chain by performing an LCA on different swimming pool solutions are both interesting and important for a more sustainable society.
2016. , 127 p.
spread of innovation, disruption of innovation, public sector, stainless steel swimming pools