A new public school in Norway has become the first school to achieve the highly regarded Nordic Swan Eco-label. Situated on the outskirts of Oslo, the Sydskogen school passed the stringent environmental standards which exceed those that are required of public buildings by local authorities in Oslo to create a building with an energy requirement that is 25% lower than conventional buildings in the Nordic region.
In addition to extensive roof solar paneling, the architects selected Kebony wood for each of the building’s facades due to its strong environmental credentials and striking aesthetic quality. The innovative wood was instrumental in securing the Swan eco-label as it requires all timber used in construction to be sustainably produced.
The school, which will be home to 400 pupils and teachers, is the brainchild of architectural practice, tegn_3 who worked with contractors Bermingrud to develop the building. The project received the full backing of Røyken local authority, who were committed to realising the vision for the environmentally friendly building in order to ensure the school could fulfil its potential.
The promotion of sustainable living was an integral value for the team, but selecting materials and methods which were both sustainable, strong and maintenance-free in equal measure was essential.
Unlike other modified timbers Kebony has an outdoor lifetime guarantee for 30 years. Developed in Norway, Kebony’s revolutionary technology is an environmentally friendly and patented process which modifies sustainably sourced softwoods by heating the wood with furfuryl alcohol – an agricultural by-product.
By polymerising the wood’s cell wall, the softwoods permanently take on the attributes of tropical hardwood including high durability, hardness and dimensional stability.
This unique process also provides Kebony with its characteristic appearance, which changes colour with weathering to evolve with the school’s natural rural surroundings.
Lead Project Architect of tegn_3, commented,
“We are delighted to have helped achieve the Swan Eco-Label for this exceptional school in Røyken. It is a really special space, and it would not have been possible without the support of the local council and the use of innovative materials like Kebony. We are confident that the children will thrive in a building allied with nature.”
Mette Valen, Sales Manager Norway at Kebony added:
“Kebony is delighted to have contributed to this beautiful school in Oslo. It’s fantastic to hear that the school is the first Swan eco-labelled school in Norway – we are all really proud of this and would love to revisit this project as the wood adopts its silver-grey patina.”