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Oslo building is self-sufficient in HVAC

NORWAY: An 18-storey mixed-use building in Oslo makes use of a climate system that is self-sufficient in heating, cooling and ventilation.

Vertikal Nydalen in the historic industrial area of Nydalen by the river Akerselva in Oslo, includes restaurants at street level, offices on the following five floors, and 40 apartments above.

It achieves its triple-zero solution by using geothermal wells, PV panels, a low-exergy system for heating and cooling, and natural ventilation. The project, developed by Oslo-based Avantor and designed by Norwegian architects Snøhetta, also claims more than 50% overall reduction of CO2 emissions from materials, transport, and energy compared to a reference project.

Water from the geothermal wells circulates in the clay walls and concrete slabs when heating or cooling is needed. The heat absorbed into the concrete walls during the day is released at night and contributes to stable temperatures in the building. The PV panels on the roof power the heat pump that controls the heating and cooling system.

The angled facade is designed to create pressure differences that enable air to move through the building. The air enters through valves in the façade, which open and close as needed. When two windows open on different sides of the building, the pressure difference forces the air to move through the premises, so the air circulates.

The building is a FutureBuilt pilot project certified according to BREEAM NOR (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), with the level Excellent for the office area and Very Good in the apartments.

Vertikal Nydalen results from two research projects supported by The Research Council of Norway. LowEx focuses on heating and cooling with very little added energy, and aims to develop new total concepts for thermal energy supply in zero-energy buildings and energy-positive buildings, with performance that is 2 to 2.5 times better than today’s state-of-the-art.

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