Situated in a rural forest in Norway, the new Torvbråten primary school has become Norway’s second school to achieve the highly-regarded Nordic Swan Eco-label, which is awarded for best practice in environmental of products and developments.
Designed by Link Arkitektur, the pioneering school where pupils can both learn in and learn from, was developed to inspire curiosity for sustainable design and materials from the start of a child’s development.
Global leader in the production of sustainably modified wood, Kebony, was selected to clad the exterior of the building due to its strong environmental credentials and striking aesthetic quality. The school, which was designed as a passive house building, is also equipped with 800 solar cells and energy wells (geothermal heating) which supply the building with waterborne heat in all floors, while 97% of construction waste was sorted at source.
With a gross area of 6,700m², the school caters to 470 students and 46 permanent employees and consists of two wings and a multi-purpose hall. Large-scale glass windows create a flow of daylight inside and foster an important connection with the surrounding natural landscape forest, which provides a natural home for an array of outdoor activities, including a mountain bike track and a light trail for skiing and walking to benefit the pupils as well as the local community.
The special building is now being used as a learning centre where environmentally-sound practices form a key part of education and learning.
Developed in Norway, Kebony’s revolutionary technology is an environmentally friendly 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. Kebony’s uniquely natural aesthetic, durability and sustainable credentials were perfectly suited to complete the ambitious school project in Norway.
Commenting on the project, Link Arkitektur said: “It is wonderful to be a part of this special school which instils the importance of sustainability from an early age. We are so proud to have achieved the Swan Eco-Label for this exceptional project, which wouldn’t have been possible without the use of innovative materials like Kebony.”
Nina Landbø, International Sales Manager Norway at Kebony added: “We are delighted to have contributed to this beautiful school in Norway and are excited to visit the project as the Kebony wood develops and ages with the beautiful surrounding landscape.”
About Kebony Technology
The Kebony technology is a patented process which enhances the properties of non-durable wood species to give them similar characteristics to the best performing woods. Through a sustainable process wood species such as pines and non-durable woods are impregnated with a bio-based liquid derived from agricultural crop waste. With the addition of heat, the furfuryl polymer is permanently grafted into the wood cell wall, resulting in greatly improved durability and dimensional stability.
About Kebony Wood
Kebony is suitable for both internal and external applications that demand high performance and great aesthetics such as decking, flooring, cladding, roofing, windows, indoor and outdoor furniture. Over time Kebony acquires a silver-grey patina whilst maintaining its performance characteristics. A study by Norwegian environmental consulting firm Bergfald & Co. demonstrated that Kebony has a substantially lower carbon footprint than its tropical hardwood equivalents, with improved durability and dimensional stability the wood is increasingly becoming the choice of leading architects and developers enabling them to use wood without causing environmental degradation. Kebony has been used internationally in commercial, public, residential and marine projects including the site of Youth Winter Olympic Games in Norway, Sweden’s first round Passive House, Rochester Marina in New York and the redevelopment of Cinque Ports Street, Rye.