Lillehammer, the site of the upcoming 2016 Youth Olympic Games, is soon to open the doors for a new development of student accommodation, which - in line with ‘passive house’ standards - has put environmental credentials at the forefront of the design and selection of construction materials. The development, designed by Henning Larsen Architects and SGB, is named SOPP (short for Studentsamskipnaden i Oppland), as it will house students in its 360 apartments across four blocks. The whole development is clad in Kebony’s sustainable, durable wood that will offer resistance to the chilly, windswept climate of the mountainous, lakeside Gudbrandsdal region.
Preparations have long been underway across the municipality for the second ever Winter Youth Olympic Games, which will see 1,100 young athletes from 70 nations, gather for 10 days of sports, education and celebration. 70 medal events within 15 traditional winter disciplines have been scheduled and a number of brand new events included. The Youth Olympic Games will serve as a platform for development for young athletes between 15 and 18 years old, not only through high level sporting competitions, but through the educational programme Learn & Share.
Sustainability has been given precedent across new infrastructure in the run up to this momentous sporting event, and this student development and it meets the passive house requirements, wherein the energy consumption is minimised. In the Lillehammer area this means that the energy consumption for heating should be less than 20 kWh/m2/year.
A new heating plant will produce all of the heat for the internal heating and for hot water. The water from this district heating plant is heated by bio fuel produced by local trade in the Lillehammer region – a mixture of wood chips, saw dust, branches, roots and treetops. It is estimated that approximately 90-95% of the produced heat in a normal year will come from renewable resources.
Kebony’s superior environmental credentials set it apart from more conventional woods which would likely deteriorate over time or involve the use of environmentally-damaging treatment; it requires no maintenance beyond normal cleaning and has no harmful effects on the environment. In addition, the timber has been used to great effect to reflect the aesthetic trend of using wood in cold-climate Norwegian architecture that is echoed across Lillehammer.
Each flat is from 18.2 m² to 18.4 m² with a total floor space of approximately 13,000 m². Each apartment contains an en suite bathroom and a kitchenette and has access to a shared social room. The first students are expected to move in sometime in early autumn; around the same time at which the Olympic Village will open its doors to the young sporting elite from around the world who will descend on the mountainous municipality.
Petter Syverud, the development’s Project Manager at Ekstenso, commented "We wanted to incorporate sustainability into this project, without compromising on the aestheticism or nuance of its design – Kebony provided an opportunity to do just that."
Adrian Pye, International Sales Director at Kebony said: “It is pleasing to see a move towards the use of more sustainable materials like Kebony in the run up to this exciting sporting occasion. We hope that Kebony’s durability will ensure this development becomes an important and popular facet of Lillehammer’s town centre."
Photography © Jørn Hindklev, Byggeindustrien