50 pilot projects for climate neutral buildings and urban areas will be built in Oslo by 2020

Green buildings

Buildings make up for 40 % of the world’s energy consumption and generate around 30% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. In this context, it is clear that the world needs many climate neutral and plus energy buildings in the years to come.

The EU has already decided that all new buildings have to be near zero energy buildings from 2020. This means that those buildings will have to produce approximately as much energy as they use. This is an ambitious goal, but it also creates new opportunities for those who will take part in developing the solutions.

In Norway, buildings and industry plants on land are responsible for more than 800.000 tonnes for CO2 emissions annually. Several major Norwegian real estate companies have already decided to take immediate measures, irrespective of government action. More and more Norwegian architects, designers and engineers alike are using the priciples of sustainable development as a starting point in their projects. It is not just environmental conciuossness that drives this. Solutions for energy eficiency in buildings also generate beautiful architectural characteristics and represent a source of cost reduction in the long run.

‘Power couples’ make it happen

The Oslo region is the largest urban area in Norway. The region is rapidly expanding, with an estimated population growth of 40% in the next 30 years. This implies development of many new houses, workplaces and transport infrastructure. We believe cooperation between several actors in our society is the best way to tackle both the problem of emissions and the need for more urban areas.

FutureBuilt. To support climate friendly urban development the municipalities in the western part of the Oslo region – Oslo, Bærum, Asker and Drammen – have launched FutureBuilt in cooperation with a range of other partners. Their vision is to show that climate neutral urban areas, based on high quality architecture, are possible. Fifty pilot projects are meant to inspire and change practices in both the private and the public sector.

Powerhouse. Powerhouse is a collaboration between real estate companies, engineering and architecture companies, materials manufacturers and environmental specialists dedicated to building energy positive buildings. Their aim is to rethink buildings development and to demonstrate that it is possible to build energy positive buildings in cold Norway, not just in the southern parts of the world. Their first accomplishment is the renovation of two office buildings into what it’s now called Powerhouse Kjærbo. More such projects are under development.

Both these partnerships use the power of good examples/ pilot projects as a strategy for changing the way the Oslo region is developing its buildings and city areas.

The role of public procurement

The public sector’s purchasing power is being utilized to accelerate de-carbonization and to stimulate innovation and technology adoption. This is a method that the City of Oslo is mastering, not just when it comes to carbon neutral buildings, but for many other sectors. They develop highly ambitious procurement projects and have a continuous dialogue with the industry to help them develop the needed solutions. As an example, the City of Oslo required fossil-free construction machinery on their construction sites. This secures both increased demand and development of new technology.

Read more about the above examples in the Visit Objects catalogue and come to Oslo to meet our experts.

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