Ain't no mountain high enough...

Thursday 12 Sep 2013

shl-led team wins Nordic Built Challenge with design for tallest tower in Norway

URBAN MOUNTAIN has won the Nordic Built Challenge in Norway. The winning proposal for the refurbishment and extension of a 50,000 sq m high-rise office building in central Oslo introduces completely new and innovative ways of reducing energy consumption and the building’s CO2 footprint. The project employs Cradle to Cradle principles and targets a BREEAM Outstanding certification. The multidisciplinary team behind the project consists of schmidt hammer lassen architects, LOOP Architects, COWI Denmark and Norway, Transsolar Energitechnik and Vugge til Vugge Denmark.

When the refurbishment is complete the building will reach a total size of 79,000 sq m and will be a sustainable landmark for the city of Oslo. The building will be the tallest in Norway and the first high-rise building in Norway to enjoy natural ventilation.

Based on principles from Cradle to Cradle (C2C) thinking, as much as 90% of the demolished existing materials are being recycled into new and upgraded building materials; 80% directly used in the new refurbished building. As an example, all the façade elements from the existing building are being re-used in the new façade design. Furthermore, the design concept operates with measurable C2C goals in areas of flexibility, biodiversity and recycling of water, heat and organic waste.

 “An important part of this project is to allow the sustainable measures to be visible to the users and the city, hereby raising awareness of how the building works. For instance, when you look at the building from the outside the façade is characterized by a series of ‘green lungs’,” explains founding partner at schmidt hammer lassen architects, John Lassen.

The ‘green lungs’ are an innovative part of the natural air intake in the building. With the use of regionally found plants, the ‘green lungs’ contribute to enhance biodiversity locally and to create a better and healthier indoor climate. The green plants clean, humidify and reduce the CO2-concentration of the incoming air for the comfort of the staff and visitors.

Solar chimneys run from the bottom to the top of the building. A greenhouse on the rooftop captures and reuses the excess heat of the building and the solar heat gain of the solar chimneys. The result is a recognisable building design - a sustainable landmark in the urban setting of the Oslo skyline. Another example of visible sustainable solutions in the building is the innovative ice storage, which can be viewed through a large window by people going to and from the metro station. The more than 1,000 cb m ice storage is used as a heat source in an adapted heat pump design and as a source of direct cooling during the summer.

To integrate the office building into the local community at street level, public access is given through an Urban Green Mall, selling healthy quality food and locally produced products. Here, people will meet and interact in the large atria, on terraces, in cafés and restaurants.

The Nordic Built Challenge is a Nordic competition organised by Nordic Innovation. The ambition is to create five lighthouse projects for the Nordic region, one in each country, demonstrating the solutions for sustainable refurbishment of the existing building stock, which the Nordic building industry is able to deliver.

By winning the Nordic Built Challenge in Norway, the design team behind URBAN MOUNTAIN is one of the five teams in the running to become the overall winner of the Nordic Built Challenge Award with a prize of one million NOK. The overall winner will be announced on 17 October 2013. 

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